SMQ Issue 17:3

Contents for SMQ Issue 17:3

SMQ Profile/Interview: Karl Donnelly, pp. 132-134
Authors: Matthew Robinson
Abstract: An interview with Karl Donnelly, Commercial and Marketing Director of Basketball Ireland.

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Relationship Marketing in Australian Professional Sport: An Extension of the Shani Framework, pp. 135-145
Authors: Constantino Stavros, Nigel K. Ll. Pope, and Hume Winzar
Abstract: The value and benefits of relationship marketing to sport practitioners have been observed in the literature for more than a decade. In spite of this, little empirical research has been reported to examine the uptake of this approach or the means by which it is implemented. This paper reports the findings of qualitative, case study research into the uptake and application of relationship marketing principles by sport organizations. The findings are couched in terms of the Shani model, which is extended into an Australian context. Results indicate that while practitioners are cognizant of the workings of relationship marketing, there is some reluctance to embrace and apply these principles.

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Impact of New Minor League Baseball Stadiums on Game Attendance, pp. 146-153
Authors: Donald P. Roy
Abstract: More than 100 new minor league baseball stadiums were built in the 1990s and early 2000s following the opening of several successful new venues in Major League Baseball. Sports economics literature suggests that the economic impact potential of new stadiums is overstated because attendance gains from new stadiums are short lived (i.e., a novelty effect). This study examined the impact of new minor league baseball stadiums on annual attendance using attendance data from 101 stadiums opened between 1993 and 2004. Results indicated that attendance levels attained the first year a stadium opened increased only slightly in years 2-5 as average attendance in year 5 was only 0.2% higher than year 1. For stadiums built to replace existing venues, attendance levels were 74% higher in year 5 of a new stadium compared to the final year at the old stadium. Attendance increases were greatest for teams competing in Independent and Class A leagues.

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Concerning the Effect of Athlete Endorsements on Brand and Team Related Intentions, pp. 154-162
Authors: Brad D. Carlson and D. Todd Donavan
Abstract: The researchers utilize social identity theory to investigate the effect that athlete endorsers have on both brand and team-related attitudes and intentions. As fans identify more strongly with an athlete, the more they intend to purchase the endorsed products. Additionally, a fan’s level of identification with an athlete is positively transferred to their attitude toward the team. The influence of athlete ID on team abandonment was fully mediated through attitude toward the team. However, fans who identified less with the athlete endorser were more likely to abandon the team’s market offerings than those fans who identified more with the athlete endorser. Athletes endorse products more often than any other celebrity category (i.e., musicians, actors, comedians, etc). While 20 percent of all ads feature a celebrity, approximately 60 percent of celebrity endorsed advertisements feature an athlete, thus demonstrating the dominance of athletes as endorsers (Dyson & Turco, 1998). Furthermore, nearly 10 percent of advertising costs is spent on fees to these endorsers. Companies are willing to invest millions of dollars to associate their brand names with easily recognizable athletes. For example, more than $12 billion is spent on multiyear athlete endorsements by corporations with more than $1.6 billion committed by Nike alone (Horrow, 2007, 2005). Some professional athletes make more money annually from endorsement deals than from salaries. The top ten sport endorsers of 2006 were paid a combined $223 million (Freedman, 2007). Tiger Woods, alone, earned $87 million from endorsement deals in 2006 and has multi-year endorsement contracts of $105 million and $40 million with Nike and Buick, respectively (DiCarlo, 2004). Since Tiger Woods signed with Nike, annual sales for Nike Golf have grown to nearly $500 million with an estimated 24 percent per year growth in the first five years of the agreement (Pike, 2006). While endorsements from celebrities such as Tiger Woods have a positive impact on product evaluations, the impact of such endorsements on the athlete’s sport affiliation (e.g., the PGA for Tiger Woods; the Indianapolis Colts for Peyton Manning) has been unexplored. This study contributes to research on athlete endorsers by implementing a social identity theory framework and empirically evaluating the impact of fans’ identification with athlete endorsers on both brand and team-related outcomes. In a field study with 494 subjects, we tested a model that indicates that athlete identification influences brand purchase intentions and attitude toward the team, which thereafter influences team abandonment. We discuss our findings and provide suggestions for team and brand managers to improve endorsement-related decision making.

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Does a Manufacturer Matter in Co-branding? The Influence of a Manufacturer Brand on Sport Team Licensed Apparel, pp. 163-172
Authors: Harry H. Kwon, Hongbum Kim, and Michael Mondello
Abstract: Despite increased sales of sports team licensed merchandise, there is a lack of research examining the effect of the manufacturer brand on the sales of such products. This study examined whether manufacturers’ brand influenced sport consumers’ attitudes toward and purchase intentions of licensed apparel. Using information integration theory and classical conditioning, four different hypotheses were developed. The data were collected from 299 students (men = 201; women = 98). The questionnaire included attitude toward a manufacturer, attitude toward school athletic teams, attitude toward co-branded licensed apparel, and purchase intentions of co-branded licensed apparel. Three different brands were assessed (i.e., Nike, Starter, and Specs). Specs was a generic brand developed by the researchers to represent an unknown brand. The results indicated sport consumers’ attitudes toward and purchase intentions of licensed apparel were determined by their attitude toward a manufacturer. In addition, the attitude was modified by their team identification. The effect of a manufacturer’s brand was decreased among individuals reporting high team identification, which could be partially explained by classical conditioning.

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Recent Trademark Dilution Cases Redefine Concept of “Fame”, pp. 173-177
Authors: Steve McKelvey
Abstract: Trademark dilution has been described by one legal commentator as “probably the single most muddled concept in all of trademark doctrine” (Beebe, 2006, p. 1144). Two recent sport-related decisions have, however, served to illuminate the application of the doctrine to sport-related trademarks through interpretation of the 2006 amendments to the Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995 (“FTDA”). Both decisions provide guidance to sport-related brands and sport teams, and particularly colleges and universities, that seek to bring dilution claims (typically brought in conjunction with trademark infringement and unfair competition claims).

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Building the Brand: A Case Study of Troy University, pp. 178-182
Authors: Jason W. Lee, Kimberly S. Miloch, Patrick Kraft, and Lance Tatum
Abstract: The public perception of a university’s athletic programs is often considered a primary factor in building the brand image of the respective institution. Maintaining a favorable brand image can have a significant impact when recruiting potential student athletes, when soliciting corporate partners, and when facilitating development opportunities with alumni and key stakeholders. Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly more entrepreneurial in nature as schools seek various strategies to generate additional revenues and exposure. For smaller universities not affiliated with a major conference, building and maintaining a favorable brand image is challenging. With an understanding that it is impossible to redefine one’s brand image instantaneously, Troy University implemented strategies in several stages. These stages were evaluated and examined in the context of this case study.

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