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The role of parent brand strength, perceived fit, and fan identification on consumers' evaluation of brand extensions in the sport setting

Artemisia Apostolopoulou, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Brand extensions are new products or services, beyond an organization's current offerings, that are introduced under the brand name. Sport organizations are increasingly implementing extension strategies in an effort to create additional revenue streams and to enhance their relationship with their fans. Although brand extensions have been a topic of extensive study in the mainstream marketing literature, only three studies have examined this practice in the sport setting. This dissertation aims to add to the limited sport-related literature but also provide insights to practitioners by examining the effect of three factors on consumers' evaluation of brand extensions introduced in the sport setting. More specifically, the strength of the parent brand and the perceived fit between the parent brand and the extension are manipulated in a 2 x 2 factorial design, to examine whether there are differences in the way consumers view extension products based on the parent brand introducing the extension and the degree of fit of the new product. Further, driven by the unique nature of the sport product, which fosters strong emotional connections between fans and their favorite teams, fan identification is also included in the design. Its effect on consumers' evaluation of the extensions as well as its interaction with the other two independent variables are examined via a series of analysis of variance. Limitations related to the measurement and manipulation of the parent brand strength variable do not allow for any conclusions on the value of this factor. Nevertheless, the results of the study clearly suggest that fan identification is a significant factor, as increasing levels of fan identification are highly related to more favorable evaluations of the proposed extensions and higher intention of sport consumers to try or purchase the extensions. Furthermore, perceived fit appears to be significant for the evaluation of the extensions, even when high levels of identification with the two parent brands are present. Sport managers interested in introducing extensions of their brand should capitalize on existing high identification levels, but also create meaningful links between the brand and the new products to facilitate their acceptance and support from consumers.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Apostolopoulou, Artemisia, "The role of parent brand strength, perceived fit, and fan identification on consumers' evaluation of brand extensions in the sport setting" (2002). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3068535.