SMQ Issue 29:1

Contents for SMQ Issue 29:1

Abstract: Sport Marketing Quarterly, Volume 29, No. 1, March 2020.

>> Subscribe Now

Sport Brands: Brand Relationships and Consumer Behavior
Authors: Thilo Kunkel and Rui Biscaia
Abstract: One of the most valuable assets a sport entity possesses is its brand. However, existing sport branding research has largely examined brands at an individual level and not taken into account the relationships be-tween connected brands or the actual behavioral outcomes of branding. Th is article provides an overview of the current state of sport branding research; proposes an extended conceptualization of sport brand architecture within a sport brand ecosystem framework to guide future examination of sport branding research; introduces the four articles published in this special issue; and presents insights from industry experts from different brand entities within the sport brand ecosystem. Thus, this article provides a foundation to further examine brand relationships and actual behavioral outcomes of sport branding to contribute to our theoretical and managerial knowledge on sport brand architecture within the sport brand ecosystem.

>> Subscribe Now

Brand Environments and the Emergence and Change of Awareness for New Sports Teams: A Two-Wave Examination
Authors: James Du, Christopher M. McLeod, and Jeffrey D. James
Abstract: In this paper, we examined how brand environments and pre-existing attachments create brand awareness of a new sport team. Using a two-wave panel design, this study used a new sport team in the US as a natural experiment to examine the changes in awareness before and after the team’s debut. We collected data from a sample of 190 representative city residents. Our results showed that brand awareness increased by 39.2% after the team played the inaugural game. We attributed the driving forces behind this change to a preseason branding campaign and individuals’ existing connections with sport-based objects. Consistent with our hypotheses, the findings also revealed that (a) individuals who were repeatedly exposed to brand information had a higher rate of change in brand awareness and (b) brand environments and brand awareness represented two mediation pathways through which pre-existing attachments exerted positive influences on consumption behaviors.

>> Subscribe Now

The Rise of an Athlete Brand: Factors Influencing the Social Media Following of Athletes
Authors: Yiran Su. Bradley J. Baker, Jason P. Doyle and Thilo Kunkel
Abstract: Athlete brands exist within a network of brand relationships. Thus, considering the joint influences of related brands at different levels (league, team, and athlete) is essential for understanding how athlete brands are built. We focus on growth factors impacting athletes’ social media followings (Twitter and Instagram) around the critical juncture of team transfer periods. We use data from the NFL Draft, because this moment in time provides a key opportunity to capture combined influences from league-, team-, athlete-, and platform-related factors on athlete brand development. Th rough comparing a large sample of athlete social media followings before and after the draft, we identify immediate changes as athletes start their professional careers. Results indicate examining multiple factors in the same model is essential for understanding the role each plays in building athlete brands. The league and team represent master brands into which an athlete brand is integrated, and consequently athlete brands are provided with benefits from these new brand relationships. Results further demonstrate network effects, highlighting the importance of possessing a strong brand before a high-profile event.

>> Subscribe Now

Self-Branding through NFL Team Fanship: Fans’ Desired Self-Image and Its Implications for Branding Practices
Authors: Jerred Junqi Wang, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Thomas A. Baker, Bo Li and James J. Zhang
Abstract: Building upon the self-concept research and the model of motivation process, this study was designed to explore the self-images desired by National Football League (NFL) fans and examine the impact of such desires on fan behavior. Through three research phases, this study revealed the factor structure of fans’ desired self-image in NFL team fanship and confirmed its key role in influencing fan identity and team-related consumptions. In particular, athletic image sufficiently provided by NFL team fanship could stimulate positive fan behavior, whereas social attractiveness that was in a shortage would hold back team-related consumptions. Discussion focused on the implications for branding practices of sport teams, corporate sponsors, and professional athletes.

>> Subscribe Now

Host Country Brand Image and Political Consumerism: The Case of Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup
Authors: Claudio Rocha and Fiona Wyse
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate whether 2018 FIFA World Cup (FWC) consumers would engage in political consumerism to reduce a perceived dissonance between host country (Russia) brand image and FWC brand attributes. Literature has associated Russia-hosted sport mega-events (SME) with violations of human rights. Drawing on cognitive dissonance theory, we investigate UK consumers (n = 417) on their perceptions about Russia’s brand image (cognitive and affective attributes) and FWC brand attributes before and after the event. Online questionnaires were used to collect data, which were analyzed via covariance-based structural equation modeling. Findings showed that intentions did not differ from behaviors of political consumerism toward 2018 FWC products. Lower evaluations of affective host image attributes led to more political consumerism. Higher perceptions of the FWC attributes led to less political consumerism. Results inform FIFA (and possibly other SME owners) on how poor human rights practices (affective attributes) may affect the consumption of their products. Results also inform hosts about ineffectiveness of associating themselves with brands like FWC without showing concerns about human rights.

>> Subscribe Now