Understanding Brand Loyalty in Professional Sport: Examining the Link between Brand Associations and Brand Loyalty. (Research Paper)

By Gladden, James M.; Funk, Daniel C. | International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, March-April 2001 | Go to article overview

Understanding Brand Loyalty in Professional Sport: Examining the Link between Brand Associations and Brand Loyalty. (Research Paper)


Gladden, James M., Funk, Daniel C., International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship


Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between brand associations (anything in the consumer's mind linked to a specific team brand,) and brand loyalty in US professional sport. To study the relationship between 13 brand association dimensions and brand loyalty, a survey of professional sport consumers was completed (N = 929). Results of multiple regression analysis revealed positive relationships between fan identification, escape, nostalgia, and product delivery, and brand loyalty Negative relationships were found between tradition, star players, and peer group acceptance, and brand loyalty.

Keywords: Brand management, Brand loyalty, Professional sport

Executive Summary

This research broadens the understanding of brand management in professional sport by examining the relationship between brand associations (anything in the consumer's mind linked to a specific brand) and brand loyalty. Specifically, this study utilized Keller's (1993) conceptual framework on brand equity to identify dimensions of brand association in sport. Thirteen different factors were identified as potential brand association dimensions in sport. To study the relationship between these brand dimensions and brand loyalty, a survey of US professional sport consumers was completed (N=929). Data were collected from respondents that allowed for the creation of a brand loyalty measure that accounted for both behavioral loyalty (the propensity to repeatedly attend a team's games or follow the team through the media) and attitudinal loyalty (possessing a consistently favorable attitude toward the team). Information was collected such that this study focused on fans that were already highly committed to a particular team.

Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between brand associations and brand loyalty. Results demonstrated that seven of the 13 brand association dimensions were significant predictors (four positively related and three negatively related) of brand loyalty among the highly-committed fans involved in this study. In identifying these relationships, this study begins to provide a deeper understanding as to what aspects of the team brand can be focal points when creating marketing strategies geared toward highly- loyal fans. Interestingly, team success was not significantly related to brand loyalty among highly-committed fans. This finding is consistent with both other research and with the notion that brand-loyal fans will provide a stable stream of revenue, regardless of the team's performance. However, fan identification (the ability of a team to provide a vehicle for consumer attachment, particularly when the team wins) was strongly predictive of brand loyalty. This highlights the i mportance of providing an optimal experience and special access to players, coaches, and other team executives as a means of making the highly-identified fan feel like a part of the team. In addition, the ability of a sport team to provide nostalgic memories was also strongly predictive of brand loyalty, underscoring the need to understand the catalysts of nostalgic memories among highly-committed fans. The need for an escape from the daily rigors and routine of life was positively related to brand loyalty. This finding underscores the need to increase the frequency (through such vehicles as fantasy leagues and draft parties) with which the team provides an escape for the highly-committed fan. Finally, efforts geared toward enhancing the entertainment experience are supported by the fact that delivery of the sport product (both the game and peripheral elements) was positively related to brand loyalty. The use of marketing strategies that highlight a tradition of success, a star player, or acceptance by a grou p of peers by virtue of following a team is not supported by this research, given the negative relationships that occurred between these dimensions and brand loyalty.

Introduction

Two years removed from their last championship, the Chicago Bulls continue to thrive. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Understanding Brand Loyalty in Professional Sport: Examining the Link between Brand Associations and Brand Loyalty. (Research Paper)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.