In the post modern era, a product or service has four potential representations: experiential; social; democratic; and an element of an organisation, a network or a universe. This paper looks at post modern product representations in the sports industry that are supported by marketing decisions. These decisions could provide guidelines to sports managers who want to strengthen the emotional connection between the team and the fans.
In the post modern era, creating value for consumers seems increasingly challenging. Indeed, consumers want to live a memorable experience, develop social ties, co-produce their own experience and are inclined to enter a universe of consumption which transcends the product itself. In this context, a product or service may be envisioned as experiential, social, democratic, and as an element of an organisation, network or universe. Taking professional sports as our research field, this paper looks at product representations in the sports industry that are supported by marketing decisions. These decisions could provide guidelines to sports managers who want to strengthen the emotional connection between their team and fans.
The methodology is qualitative and the research exploratory in nature. We followed a two-step methodology. We used an ethnographic approach for fans in stadiums and then used content analyses of sports teams and equipment manufacturers, websites, interviews with managers of professional sports teams in Canada and Europe, and scientific papers, sports articles, team documents and media articles (print and electronic).
Our exploratory research enabled us to focus on situations where sports clubs can capitalise on the emotional attachment of their fans, get the fans involved in the production of their own experience and even transcend the sports arena and the geographical boundaries of the local market. Committed fans are consumers who could strengthen and nurture the team's brand if managers were able to funnel fans' efforts into the team's own script.
However, we found that, in general, the examples used for the purposes of this paper are isolated and consequently the effect of these tools diluted. To maximise the leverage potential of a post modern product conception, these tools should be integrated into the marketing/branding strategy of sports clubs. Thus sports teams could find a way to enhance the experience of the fans at the stadium, strengthen fan loyalty and reinforce the team brand equity. This in turn would enable teams to transcend the results on the field and protect themselves against the changing moods of fans associated with the ups and downs that are an inevitable in professional sports.
Furthermore, different consumers are looking for different attributes when in contact with the team brand. By capitalising on the commonalities that bind fans, sports clubs can create spaces where these fans can, physically and virtually, interact with one another and share their attachment to the team.
We should also mention that with the increasing importance of 'fashion fans' (Hip Hop/Urban), sports teams might face the challenge of having to avoid alienating die hard sports fans while being able to capitalise on the financial bonanza that the Hip Hop/Urban segment represents. However, because fashion fans have already adapted many sports teams' brands, they not only influence sports fashion but could also influence, positively or negatively, the brand image and brand equity of sports teams.
The post modern era we are experiencing and the strong post modern wave breezing through (Lyotard, 1979; Maffesoli, 2000; 2003) are inviting both researchers and practitioners in marketing to espouse a larger view of the notions they are working with, beginning with the product or service (Boulaire & Deroubaix, 2004; Cova & Cova, 2001; Firat & Venkatesh, 1993, 1995; Sherry, 1991).
With the exception of music, cinema and religion, there is probably no other field of activity that generates such passion among its customers as sport. Capitalising on the emotional attachment of the consumers (fans) toward the team, the event or the symbolism associated with the brand can enable a sports organisation to trigger trust and loyalty toward the brand (Richelieu, 2004). In return, this trust and loyalty can help the sports team generate additional revenues through the sale of goods and services both within and beyond the sports arena (Gustafson, 2001). Indeed, strong brands in sport are able to make the customers live the brand at different moments of their daily life: they live their team and the respective brand in the same way as customers wear Levi's and not another brand of jeans or drink Coca-Cola and not Pepsi (and vice versa).
Being the result of exploratory research (Lamoureux, 2000), this paper aims at articulating our conception of the post modern product within professional sports and how the former applies to the latter. Already engaged in a research programme on sports marketing, more specifically on building and leveraging the brand equity of professional sports clubs, we are looking at the practical application of one post modern vision of the product to the sports industry and sports teams in both North America and in Europe. We first define our conception of the post modern product and its potential representations with regards to different authors. Then we underline the methodology used. Finally, we look at the applications of our post modern vision of the product to professional sport, using examples, and make recommendations.
A post modern vision of the product and its potential applications
In a post modern era, a product or service has four potential representations: experiential, social, democratic, and an element of an organisation, network or universe. We shall look now at these four representations.
The experiential product
As suggested by Pine & Gilmore (1999) and Tybout & Carpenter (1999), it is important to consider the experiential aspect of the post modern product and focus on the experience it provides not only during but also before and after its consumption. As mentioned by Filser (2002), even the less experiential products can have an experiential dimension to them. At the height of the management of an experiential product is the management of the flow of emotions and sensations that are experienced before, during and after consumption. The management of the flow of emotions and sensations involves the management of the nature of 'micro-events' that are to be created, as well as their timing, in order to maintain an optimal level of stimulations throughout the consumption of the product, as well as before and after its consumption (Boulaire & Montiglio, 2003). Resorting to a dramaturgical perspective (Goffman, 1959) helps in staging the experience with a setting, actors, script, costumes and accessories, as well as the management of the flow of emotions and sensations, which are potential highlights of the relationship between the consumer and the product.
In a post modern era, consumers look for authentic experiences (Cova & Cova, 2001), even though they often feel content with enactments of authenticity (Firat & Venkatesh, 1993, 1995). Consumers look for a symbolic meaning in the products they consume through the image of these products in order to build, maintain and communicate their identity (Elliott, 1997).
The social product
Human beings seek to build new social ties in a society where it becomes increasingly difficult to develop and maintain these ties (Maffesoli, 1988; Cova, 1997; Cova & Cova, 2001). Thus consumers take advantage of opportunities provided by companies, such as special events created around a brand ('brandfests') in order to have a sense of belonging to a group, even though the existence of this group may only last as long as the event itself. What they want is to share emotions within the group, transcend their social status and live the spirit of 'communitas', as described by Turner (1969). Consumers get together around a product, which enables them to experience a passion, or around a brand, of which they become ambassadors. These consumers form what are known as brand communities. A brand community is "a specialised, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relationships among users of a brand" (Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001, p. 412). In other cases, certain cultures or sub-cultures of consumption legitimise a brand by associating a symbolic meaning to it that is shared by the members of the group. The legitimisation of a brand as a concept is growing in popularity (Kates, 2004; Suchman, 1995).
The recognition of this desire leads us to consider the product not only as an experiential product but also as a social product which stimulates social interaction. Cova (1997) insists on this dimension of the product when he writes that the social link is more important than the product. For a company, it is important to provide the opportunity to meet and interact, as well as to support the emergence of emotional communities and to identify tribes that use its product or brand (Boulaire, Lefrancois & Lery, 1996). The product or brand becomes part of tribal rituals (McAlexander, Schouten & Koenig, 2002; Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001).
The democratic product
The representation of the product as 'democratic' emphasises the importance of co-creation by the consumers, especially the creation of the product's meaning (Firat & Venkatesh, 1993; 1995). In relation to discussions above, some groups or communities can adopt a product or brand even though they have not been originally targeted by the company. They consider the message of the company legitimate and they change the meaning of the brand within and outside the group (Kates, 2004). The product, when seen as democratic, invites the company to execute two actions. First, the establishment of forums--where consumers can not only share their opinions but also provide advice, tell their stories and share their experiences--becomes an element of product management, just like their participation in various games (role-playing). Second, if the vision revolving around a democratic product encourages the company to provide consumer-producers with the opportunity to take possession of the product or the brand, it also motivates the company to monitor how the brand is espoused by consumers in order to funnel the consumers' initiatives into the company's strategy (Boulaire & Deroubaix, 2004).
The organisation, the network, the universe
Post modern experiential, social and democratic products could also be considered as unifying elements of an organisation, a network offering other products or forums, in real or virtual mode, on a permanent or temporary basis, to make consumers live the environment related to the product and expand it (Boulaire & Montiglio, 2003). For instance, websites could offer stages and spaces where members of communities and tribes interact. This creates a relationship between the consumer-producer and the product outside the planned events or micro-events created around the product (Boulaire, Lefrancois & Lery, 1996; McAlexander, Schouten & Koenig, 2002; Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001).
Referring to the notion that various elements juxtapose themselves in a post modern era (Firat & Venkatesh, 1993; 1995), we believe that the product, when seen as a universe or a network, underlines the juxtaposition of different stages, spaces, product uses, different consumer profiles and symbolic meanings transmitted by the product within different cultures or sub-cultures of consumption. Confronted with this fragmented meaning, the company must ensure that each symbolic meaning does not damage the others.
This is how an inordinately narrow vision of a product could be put aside for the benefit of a more flexible and rich representation, which could lead to original marketing strategies--for instance, in sport.
The methodology is qualitative and the research exploratory in nature. However, in order to be able to see if our post modern conception of the product applies to professional sports, we followed a two-step methodology. On the one hand, we used an ethnographic approach of fans in stadiums. On the other, we proceeded with content analyses of:
* sports teams' and equipment manufacturers' websites
* interviews with managers of professional sports teams in Canada and Europe
* scientific papers, sports articles, team documents and media articles (print and electronic).
The content analysis is in line with what we have conducted in other papers on sports marketing (e.g. Couvelaere & Richelieu, 2005; Richelieu & Pons, 2005).
We took advantage of the fact that one of the authors has been a sports fan for years to follow the observational case study technique used by Holt (1995) in his research on Chicago Cubs fans. Indeed, one of the authors attended over 100 professional sporting events (baseball, hockey and soccer) between 2001 and 2004. By immersing himself among other sports fans, he was able to record and analyse the attitudes and behaviours of sports fans in both North America and Europe. The author attended baseball, hockey and soccer games. An in-depth analysis and conceptualisation of fans' behaviour will certainly follow in another paper, but in this article we will provide concrete examples recorded in the stands of how our post modern conception of the product applies to professional sports.
In-depth case analyses
The second component of our qualitative research is a set of in-depth case analyses. We were looking to see how teams manage the experiential dimension for fans at the stadium. In addition, we wanted to see if the experiential nature of the sporting event is strategically articulated by teams in order to strengthen the loyalty of fans and ultimately leverage the brand equity of the club (Underwood, Bond & Baer, 2001).
To this end we consulted and analysed sports teams' and equipment manufacturers' websites, scientific papers, sports articles, team documents and media articles (print and electronic). Sites and documents were selected by browsing the internet and from newspaper stands. Ebsco and ABI Inform databases were consulted to search for scientific papers. Documents provided by teams and leagues were also used for this research. In all, we consulted around 40 team websites, 20 news sites and over 20 magazines and newspapers of general interest or which specialised in sport, published in North America and Europe. Most of the scientific papers used for this article are listed in the references section.
Furthermore, we conducted interviews with managers of professional sports teams in Canada and Europe and used these to provide examples of the applications of our post modern product concept in sports. We looked for teams that were initiating brand and/or marketing actions, as well as clubs that were integrating experiential aspects into the sporting event at the stadium. Eisenhardt (1989) recommends using between four and ten cases in order to allow an in-depth analysis of each case and a relative diversity to increase the validity of the results.
Hence our sample was made up of five Canadian sports teams and five European soccer clubs. The sports clubs are: the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks (hockey), Montreal Alouettes (US football), Lille Olympique Sporting Club, Racing Club de Lens, Girondins de Bordeaux, Olympique de Marseille and FC Barcelona (soccer).
Data was collected through one-on-one interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire that had open-ended questions in relation to the game experience of fans at the stadium and marketing/branding initiatives undertaken by the clubs. One or two personnel (marketing director or vice-president; general manager) were interviewed for each team, depending on the expertise and availability of respondents (Miles & Huberman, 2003).
Content analysis was used for data analysis to extract the essence of the primary and secondary data (Pellemans, 1999). The validity was ensured through the use of several sources of information, the number of cases studied and the comparisons made between cases (Perrien, Cheron & Zins, 1986).
A post modern conception of product applied to professional sports
The experiential product (see Table 1)
Capitalising on the experiential nature of its product, a sports team can create a 'play' which involves:
1 The 'setting', with championship pennants on the roof of the hockey arena, details of great players retired on the wall of a baseball field, the stadium in itself, because of its history (Fenway Park in Boston; Anfield Road in Liverpool) or the modernity surrounding the venue (Air Canada Centre in Toronto; FedEx Forum in Nashville).
2 The 'stage' -- the playing field where famous games have been played, won and lost (Yankee stadium in New York; Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid; Wembley in London).
3 The 'actors' -- the players, coach, the referees, fans, the DJ, the mascot etc. Great players, a famous coach, a popular mascot (e.g. Youppi! of the former Montreal Expos) and the interaction between fans etc. enhance the attractiveness of the 'play' and the experience fans have come to have at the stadium instead of staying at home watching the game on television. Indeed, going to a game becomes an experience we enjoy not only by ourselves but also with other people, since their experience can influence our own (Desbordes, 2000; Holt, 1995);
4 The 'script', with the pre-game show, the national anthems, the game, the intermissions, the draws, the contests, the music, the laser show before the game and during intermissions, use of the giant screen or the arena vision screen to create a dazzling experience. While the 'script' is well orchestrated, unexpected events are part of the 'play' that give fans a unique experience every time they come to see their favourite team (Underwood, Bond & Baer, 2001). For instance, fans can take possession of the script and the accessories to create micro-events within the event (US football tailgates; rituals with towels or thundersticks). This entertainment dimension is well developed in North America, sometimes to such an extreme that the entertainment happening in the stands is more important than the game itself: "From start to finish, we want the fans to have the most exciting entertainment experience of their life when they come to the Corel Centre." (Ottawa Senators hockey club Vice President, Marketing)
5 The field and surroundings the stadium facilities ('backstage') etc. For instance, FC Barcelona now offers a family corner outside the stadium where children can entertain themselves before the match by playing video games. In Canada, the Vancouver Canucks hockey club installs tents outside their arena where fans can entertain themselves before, during and after playoff games. Barbecued meals and drinks are served, and children can have their faces painted with the team colours.
6 Last but not least are the 'costumes' (players' equipment with the logo and the colours of the club, the mascot's costume, clothes worn by fans), 'make-up' (fans' make-up), 'accessories' (gifts distributed at the gates or in the stands: bobblehead dolls, towels, thundersticks) and 'rituals' (fans' chants and songs) of the "actors".
The game on the field is just one component of the experience, emotions and sensations of fans at the stadium (Gladden, Milne & Sutton, 1998; Richelieu & Pons, 2005). Thus the sports team can and does instigate a set of emotions and sensations through activities planned by the club or initiated by the fans, but always recuperated by the sports team. Examples include songs played by the DJ and those sung by the fans, or rituals and superstitions (the Anaheim Angels' Rally Monkey; the Atlanta Braves' tomahawk chant; baseball caps worn upside down to 'help' the team make a comeback win etc.). Songs, waves, flags, scarves and prayers are examples of different rituals created and used by fans to live the experience and sacralise it (Holt, 1995).
Furthermore, a sports club can extend the experience lived by the fans after the game and outside the stage set by the team. For instance, combining the intangible and tangible benefits enhances the experience of the fans and enables them to prolong the experience beyond the event or in between events; fans live the game with something tangible they get for free or which they buy at the team boutique (Burton & Howard, 1999). This prolonged experience can also be stimulated, for example, by a CD compilation of songs played at the stadium (World Cup of Hockey 2004 CD).
The social product
Following Cova (1997), Cova & Cova (2001) and Muniz & O'Guinn (2001), the recognition of the social dimension of a product invites sports teams to develop and nurture social links, tribes or emotional communities through the creation of the product or social events around the product. For a sports team, this offers opportunities to create situations where fans will gather with other people.
These social links can be virtual or real, temporary or permanent, with or without direct contact with the players from their team. All the examples cited below illustrate this point: the Club Future Montreal Canadiens for children, initiated by the hockey club in the autumn of 2004; fan clubs organising trips to support the team away from home; socios clubs of soccer teams in Spain, with activities organised just for members (e.g. cycling club); activities for season ticket holders (e.g. golf tournaments, practices with the team, meeting the players, visiting the locker room, baseball batting practices). The idea is to have the fans share their passions within the environment of the sport and the team, but also beyond. Fans are united around common pleasures they want to share, which is key in building brand communities (McAlexander, Schouten & Koenig, 2002).
Here again, rituals are important. But in the context of a social product, a ritual is a way to demonstrate the allegiance of a fan to a group, with songs related to specific team fan clubs, a theme song when the team is winning (Ole! Ole! at the Montreal Alouettes' American football games). Furthermore, a licensed product (cap, jersey, jacket etc.) enables the fans to identify themselves with the group they want to belong to but also to extend the experience, to share it with others (family, friends, colleagues and other fans) and to strengthen the emotional connection among the fans (Mullin, Hardy & Sutton, 2000; Pimentel & Reynolds, 2004; Sport Business Group, 2002). One example is the Major League Baseball 2005 Premiere Jacket introduced during the 2004 World Series and advertised under the slogan: 'Clothes make the fan!'
This is why the team shop at the stadium should remain open more than half an hour after the end of a game, to give fans the chance to take home tangible proof of their experience, which will crystallise the emotional dimension of the experience they have just had (Motion, Leitch & Brodie, 2003).
The democratic product
Fans are potentially both consumers and actors; being part of the event is a 'must' from the standpoint of the social actualisation of the fans (Keyes, 1998). However, some fans want to participate beyond 'brandfests' so teams could open forums where fans can express themselves freely--commenting, making suggestions and revealing who they are (Pimentel & Reynolds, 2004). Forums can be websites, hotlines, competitions etc. Some forums are launched and managed by fans themselves, such as the website of the section 'W' fans of the Montreal Alouettes, who present themselves as the ultimate fans. The section 'W' fans have their own website and logo, their ritual at the Molson Percival Stadium games. They sell merchandise sporting the 'W' logo (this has now become associated in the minds of fans with the Montreal Alouettes) and tie their passion to the history of the Alouettes, to which they seem absolutely dedicated. In a way, the section 'W' fans are a sub-brand of the Montreal Alouettes brand, which they nurture through their actions and interactions with other fans of the Alouettes (Janiszewski & Van Osselaer, 2000).
Fans become co-producers in the conception and promotion of the product through activities they organise, their own rituals, but also through contests, such as finding a name for the team mascot, suggesting a name or a logo for a new franchise, as with any franchise granted to a city in North America (e.g. the Colorado Avalanche hockey team).
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Other types of contests that help fans become involved in the game include: 'Win a trip to the final by showing how die hard a fan you are!' (Fandemonium competition, Canadian Football League); 'Tell us why you are a fan of your hockey team and win a trip to the Stanley Cup finals'; 'Become a TV commentator for a Montreal Canadiens game' and so on. Clubs can also publish pictures of fans on the team website (Vancouver Canucks). By pushing the right buttons, teams can trigger the participation of their fans to the game script, and, more importantly, strengthen and nurture the team brand by funnelling the energy of their fans into the team's own script (Underwood, Bond & Baer, 2001). Thus the team capitalises on the micro-events created by its fans.
Furthermore, through collaboration with equipment manufacturers, teams can introduce new merchandise (caps, jerseys, jackets) for specific segments of fans (such as the 'fashion fans' among the Hip Hop community), those who might adapt the sports brand for other reasons. For instance, seeing Will Smith wear a specific model of the Philadelphia Phillies' baseball team cap brings some of Will Smith's fans to associate themselves with the Phillies, not necessarily for their love of baseball or the Phillies, but because they wish to strengthen their emotional connection with their idol (Spiegler, 1996; Sternbergh, 2002). In doing so, a team might at first lose some control over its brand, but the team can take advantage by how it addresses the needs of the different types of sports fans and what they are looking for when they are in contact with the team brand. (All the more so since, according to the manager of the Canadian office of the New Era cap company, New Era now generates more than 50% of its sales in the Hip Hop/Urban segment.)
The organisation, the network, the universe
In the context of the post modern era, borders disappear (Firat & Venkatesh, 1993, 1995). Consumers want to be in contact with and live the brand at any moment, and share the bond that is created with other consumers who have espoused the same brand and are part of the same brand community (McAlexander, Schouten & Koenig, 2002). By building a brand community, a sports team can grow beyond its original market and transcend both geographical boundaries and the sports arena.
The experiential, social and democratic sporting event is managed as a unifying product of an organisation, a network or a universe, which offers different forums where fans can live the product and contribute to its expansion. Examples include post games at the arena restaurant or at restaurants associated with the team (e.g. La Cage au Sport in Montreal, 'preferred Vancouver Canucks restaurants'), where the TV crew who broadcast the game sets a new stage for the post game show.
Different stages become unifying places where fans can interact, share their passion and expand the team brand beyond the playing field (Gladden, Milne & Sutton, 1998). This is a way to manage links between the forums offered to fans. Moreover, fans are united within a community where different people of different background, age, gender and social class are bound through the passion they share for their team. This could be explained by viewing a brand as a way for consumers to communicate their tribal affiliations and connect with other people; consumers connect and socialise with other people through brands (Rushkoff, 2005).
Consequently, teams look for ways to transcend the fan experience in order to make fans enter the universe of the team brand. Teams need to reinforce the attachment of the fans through frequent and rich experiences which emphasise intangible (emotions) and tangible (game results, team merchandise) benefits of the brand (Burton & Howard, 1999)--see Figure 1. This combination of intangible and tangible benefits can potentially increase the value of the experience fans live when they are in contact with the sports team, strengthen fans' loyalty towards the club and leverage the brand equity of the team. Strong sports brands, in bigger (Bayern Munchen, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, New York Yankees, Real Madrid etc.) and smaller (Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Twins, RC Lens etc.) markets have been able to capitalise on the emotional attachment of fans in order to make the fans live the brand in different situations as part of their daily lives and unite these fans (Richelieu, 2004).
Conclusion and recommendations
In the post modern era, creating value for consumers seems increasingly challenging (Holt, 2002). Consumers want to live a memorable experience, develop social ties, co-produce their own experience and are inclined to enter a universe of consumption which transcends the product or service itself. Being part of the event is a 'must' from the standpoint of the social actualisation of the fans (Keyes, 1998).
These characteristics seem to apply well to professional sports teams. Our exploratory research enabled us to focus on situations where sports clubs can capitalise on the emotional attachment of their fans, get the fans involved in the production of their experience, and consider the possibility of transcending the sports arena and the geographical boundaries of the local market. As we suggested, committed fans are consumers who can potentially strengthen and nurture the team's brand when managers are able to funnel fans' efforts into the team's own script.
However, we observed that, in general, the different examples presented in this paper are isolated and consequently the effect of these tools is diluted. To maximise the leverage potential of a post modern product conception, these tools should be integrated into a marketing/branding strategy in sports clubs. Thus sports teams could find a way to enhance the experience of their fans at the stadium, strengthen fans' loyalty and reinforce the team brand equity. This would in turn enable sports teams to transcend the results they achieve on the field and protect themselves against the moods of fans associated with the ups and downs that are inevitable in professional sports (Mullin, Hardy & Sutton, 2000).
Different consumers are looking for different attributes when they are in contact with the team brand (Pons & Richelieu, 2004). By capitalising on the commonalities that bind these fans, sports clubs can create spaces where fans can, physically and virtually, interact with one another and share their attachment to the team. Thus we introduced the concept of brand community, which we would like to explore more in further papers.
We should mention that with the increasing importance of 'fashion fans' (Hip Hop/Urban), who identify with a sports team by extension of their allegiance to a favourite singer or simply because 'the colours fit', sports teams could face the challenge of having to avoid alienating their die hard sports fans while capitalising on the financial bonanza the Hip Hop/Urban segment represents. However, because fashion fans have already adapted many sports teams' brands, they not only influence sports fashion, but could influence, positively or negatively, the brand image and brand equity of sports teams (Sternbergh, 2002). For instance, the leagues that give a licence to equipment manufacturers know about the equipment manufacturers' products and must approve them, as stated in the license agreements. However, not all teams know about the models the equipment makers introduce, especially teams in the smaller market, as shown by our interviews with sports clubs. This could jeopardise the brand equity of sports teams and the leagues.
Teams and leagues both need to be more involved with equipment manufacturers and more proactive in order to recuperate the appropriation of their brand from fashion fans (Underwood, Bond & Baer, 2001), even though it is Hip Hop customers who choose the brands they want to recuperate (Spiegler, 1996). Otherwise, teams and leagues cold lose control over their brand and have their brand equity altered through negative parallel meanings associated with their brands. Referring to the notion of legitimacy developed recently by Kates (2004), the challenge teams and leagues face involves preserving the legitimacy of their respective brands for both sports fans and Hip Hop fashion fans (Kates, 2004).
[c] 2005 International Marketing Reports
Boulaire, C., Lefrancois, P. & Lery, V. (1996). 'Systemes d'information marketing, organisation imaginaire et post modernite' in Proceedings of the XIIth Conference of the French Marketing Association (AFM), Poitiers, 531-547.
Boulaire, C. & Y. Montiglio (2003), 'La gestion de l'experience et du flux d'experience: pleins feux sur une emission televisee de divertissement', Decisions Marketing 29 (January-March), 25-34.
Boulaire, C. & Deroubaix, V. (2004), 'Le concept de produit revisite: Le profil du produit postmoderne' in Proceedings of the 2004 Administrative Science Association of Canada Conference (ASAC), Quebec City.
Burton, R. & Howard, D. (1999), 'Professional sports leagues: Marketing mix mayhem', Marketing Management 8(1), 36-46.
Couvelaere, V. & Richelieu, A. (2005), 'Brand strategy in professional Sports: The case of French soccer teams', European Sport Management Quarterly 5 (1), 23-46.
Cova, B. (1997), 'Community and consumption', European Journal of Marketing 31 (3) 297-316.
Cova, V. & Cova, B. (2001), Alternatives marketing. Paris: Dunod.
Desbordes, M. (2000), Gestion du sport. Paris: Vigot.
Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989), 'Building theory from case study research', Academy of Management Review 14 (4), 532-550.
Elliott, R. (1997), 'Existential consumption and irrational desire', European Journal of Marketing 31 (3 & 4), 285-296.
Firat A. F. & Venkatesh, A. (1993), 'Postmodernity: The age of marketing', International Journal of Research in Marketing 10 (3), 227-249.
Firat, A. F. & Venkatesh, A. (1995), 'Liberatory postmodernity and the reenchantment of consumption', Journal of Consumer Research 22 (December), 239-267.
Filser, M. (2002), 'Le marketing de la production d'experience. Statut theorique et implications manageriales', Decisions Marketing 28 (October), 13-22.
Gladden, J. M., Milne, G. R. & Sutton, W. A. (1998), 'A conceptual framework for evaluating brand equity in division I college athletics', Journal of Sport Management 12 (1), 1-19.
Goffman, E. (1959), The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.
Gustafson, R. (2001), 'Product brands look set to gain new advantage', Marketing (5 April), 20.
Holt, D. B. (1995), 'How consumers consume: A typology of consumption practices', Journal of Consumer Research 22 (1), 1-16.
Holt, D. B. (2002), 'Why do brands cause trouble? A dialectical theory of consumer culture and branding', Journal of Consumer Research 29 (1), 70-90.
Janiszewski, C. & Van Osselaer, S. M. J. (2000), 'A connectionist model of brand-quality associations', Journal of Marketing Research 37 (3), 331-350.
Kates, S. M. (2004), 'The dynamics of brand legitimacy: An interpretive study in the gay men's community', Journal of Consumer Research 31 (2), 455-464.
Keyes, C. L. M. (1998), 'Social well-being', Social Psychology Quarterly 61 (2), 121-140.
Lamoureux, A. (2000), Recherche et methodologie en sciences humaines. Laval, Quebec: Editions Etudes Vivantes.
Lyotard, J-F. (1979), La condition post moderne. Paris: Minuit.
Maffesoli, M. (1998), Le temps des tribus. Le declin de l'individualisme dans les societes de masse. Paris: Meridiens Klincksieck.
Maffesoli, M. (2000), L'Instant eternel: Le retour du tragique dans les societes postmodernes. Paris: Denoel.
Maffesoli, M. (2003), Notes sur la postmodernite, le lieu fait lien. Paris: Editions du Felin.
McAlexander, J. H., Schouten, J. W. & Koenig, H. F. (2002), 'Building brand community', Journal of Marketing 66 (1), 38-54.
Miles, M. B. & A. M. Huberman (2003), Analyse des donnees qualitatives. Paris: Editions De Boeck Universite.
Motion, J., Leitch, S. & Brodie, R. J. (2003), 'Equity in corporate co-branding. The case of Adidas and the All Blacks', European Journal of Marketing 37 (7-8), 1080-1118.
Mullin, B. J., Hardy, S. & Sutton, W. A. (2000), Sport marketing 2nd edition, Champaign (Illinois): Human Kinetics.
Muniz, A. M. & O'Guinn, T. C. (2001), 'Brand community,' Journal of Consumer Research 27 (4), 412-432.
Pellemans, P. (1999), Recherche qualitative en marketing: Perspective psychoscopique. Bruxelles: De Boeck Universite.
Perrien, J., Cheron, E. J. & Zins, M. (1986), Recherche en marketing: Methodes et decisions. Boucherville: Gaetan Morin editeur.
Pimentel, R. W. & Reynolds, K. E. (2004), 'A model for consumer devotion. Affective commitment with proactive sustaining behaviours', Academy of Marketing Science Review 2004 (5), 1-45.
Pine II, B. J. & Gilmore, J. H. (1999), The experience economy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Pons, F, & Richelieu, A. (2004), 'Marketing strategique du sport: Le cas d'une franchise de la Ligue Nationale de Hockey (LNH)', Revue Francaise de Gestion 30 (150), 161-174.
Richelieu, A. (2004), 'Building the brand equity of professional sports teams', Chap. 1 in Sharing Best Practices in Sport Marketing, 3-21. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology Publishers.
Richelieu, A. & Pons, F. (2005), 'Reconciling managers' strategic vision with fans' expectations', International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship 6 (3).
Rushkoff, D. (2005, forthcoming), Get back in the box: Innovation from the inside out. Riverhead Trade.
Sherry, J. F. (1991), 'Postmodern alternatives: The interpretive turn in consumer research', Handbook of Consumer Behavior, Harold H. Kassarjian and Thomas S. Robertson (eds.), 548-591. Englewood, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Spiegler, M. (1996), 'Marketing street culture', American Demographics 18 (11), 28-32.
Sport Business Group (2002), 'Maximising revenue from licensing and merchandising', http://www.sportbusiness.com/static/reports_intros/index.adp [Accessed September 2002]
Sternbergh, A. (2002), 'The secret meaning of baseball hats', National Post Online (May 18), http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/printer/printer.asp?f=/stories/20020518/238261.html [Accessed May 2002]
Suchman, M. C. (1995), 'Managing legitimacy: Strategic and institutional approaches', Academy of Management Review 20 (6), 571-610.
Turner V. W. (1969), The ritual process. Chicago: Aldine.
Tybout, A. M. & Carpenter, G. S. (1999), Meeting the challenge of the postmodern consumer', Mastering marketing: The complete MBA companion in marketing, T. Dickson and N. Hawcock (eds.), 103-107. London: Financial Times.
Underwood, R., Bond, E. & Baer, R. (2001), 'Building service brands via social identity: Lessons from the sports marketplace', Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice (winter), 1-13.
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Faculte des Sciences de L'Administration, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada
Tel: +1 (418) 656 2131 (ext 7710) Fax: +1 (418) 656 2624
Email: Andre Richelieu@mrk.ulaval.ca
(sports marketing and Hip Hop)
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Universite Laval
(post modernism and post modernity)
TABLE 1 A summary of a post modern product conception and its applications to professional sports APPLICATIONS TO PRODUCT REPRESENTATION POST MODERN FRAMEWORK PROFESSIONAL SPORTS EXPERIENTIAL PRODUCT CONSUMERS LOOKING FOR CREATION OF THE EXPERIENCES AND EXPERIENCE WITH THE: I) STIMULATIONS SCENERY, II) STAGE, III) ACTORS, IV) SCRIPT, V) EMPHASIS ON THE SHOW ACCESSORIES, VI) COSTUMES AND THE SPECTACULAR AND MAKE-UP OF THE ACTORS HUGE PRESENCE OF MASS MANAGEMENT OF THE SET OF MEDIA AND EMOTIONS AND SENSATIONS TECHNOLOGIES THROUGH ACTIVITIES PLANNED BY THE TEAM AND ACTIVITIES INITIATED BY THE FANS, BUT RECUPERATED BY THE SPORTS TEAM CAPITALISING ON THE CONCEPT OF GAME IN DIFFERENT WAYS SOCIAL PRODUCT CONSUMERS LOOKING TO DEVELOPMENT AND CREATE NEW SOCIAL NURTURING OF SOCIAL TIES LINKS, TRIBES OR EMOTIONAL COMMUNITIES CONSUMERS SEEKING THROUGH THE CREATION OF OPPORTUNITIES TO THE PRODUCT OR SOCIAL GATHER WITH EVENTS AROUND THE PRODUCT OT HER PEOPLE THESE SOCIAL LINKS COULD HUGE PRESENCE OF MASS BE VIRTUAL OR REAL, MEDIA AND TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT, TECHNOLOGIES WITH OR WITHOUT A DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE PLAYERS OF THE TEAM THE FANS SUPPORT: FANS ARE UNITED AROUND COMMON PLEASURES THEY WANT TO SHARE TOGETHER DEMOCRATIC PRODUCT CONSUMERS LOOKING TO OPENING OF FORUMS WHERE CO-PRODUCE THEIR OWN FANS CAN EXPRESS EXPERIENCES THEMSELVES FREELY, COMMENTING, SUGGESTING, CONSUMERS LOOKING FOR UNVEILING WHO THEY ARE, AUTHENTICITY THEIR PASSIONS ETC. HUGE PRESENCE OF MASS FANS BECOME INVOLVED IN MEDIA AND INTERACTIVE THE GAME THROUGH THEIR TECHNOLOGIES OWN INITIATIVE OR THROUGH A CONTEST THE TEAM CAPITALISES ON THE CO-PRODUCTION OF ITS FANS BY FUNNELLING THEIR EFFORTS INTO THE TEAM'S OWN SCRIPT ORGANISATION, NETWORK, DISAPPEARANCE OF TRANSCENDING THE FANS' THE UNIVERSE BORDERS IN ORDER EXPERIENCES IN ORDER TO TO BE IN CONTACT WITH MAKE THEM ENTER THE AND LIVE THE BRAND UNIVERSE OF THE TEAM BRAND THE EXPERIENTIAL, SOCIAL AND DEMOCRATIC SPORTING EVENT IS MANAGED AS A UNIFYING ELEMENT OF AN ORGANISATION, A NETWORK OR A UNIVERSE WHICH OFFERS OTHER FORUMS TO FANS IN ORDER TO LIVE THE PRODUCT AND CONTRIBUTE TO ITS EXPANSION TRANSCENDING THE FANS' EXPERIENCES IN ORDER TO MAKE THEM ENTER THE UNIVERSE OF THE TEAM BRAND…