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Evaluating brand equity in the team sport setting
Over the past decade, evaluating the relative strength of brand names, or "brand equity," has received significant attention in marketing academic and trade literature. However, brand equity has thus far received minimal attention in the team sport setting. In contrast, much more attention has been directed toward determining the positive marketplace outcomes that result from winning. Such an emphasis ignores the possibility that the sport manager can impact the realization of increased revenues, increased awareness, or an enhanced image if the team is not successful. In an effort to apply the concept of brand equity to the team sport setting, a conceptual framework is created building on Aaker's (1991) model. This framework suggests antecedent conditions create brand equity which in turn leads to desired marketplace consequences. Through feedback loops, the consequences then impact the various antecedents thus continually modifying brand equity. In order to evaluate selected links suggested by the conceptual framework, regression and logistic regression analyses were run using secondary data from the four major North American professional sport leagues (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey). Within these analyses, efforts were made to account for a team's history of success as well as differences that may occur by league. Results support the notion that sport managers should approach their teams as brands. Antecedent conditions such as a star player can positively increase a team's ability to sell merchandise and generate revenues above and beyond gate receipts and media revenues. Further, once brand equity is created, it is important to the realization of positive marketplace outcomes such as merchandise sales, ticket sales, and national television appearances. Success in competition was also found to be a significant predictor of brand equity. The results of this study suggest winning games is not the only means of achieving positive marketplace outcomes. While success is very important and definitely enhances such outcomes, brand equity is also important. As such, sport managers should begin treating their teams as brands and managing them accordingly. Thus, rather than focus solely on attaining success, the sport manager should coordinate their marketing activities such that they are consistent with a long-term strategic marketing vision.
Gladden, James M, "Evaluating brand equity in the team sport setting" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9809337.