AbstractWhat are the distinguishing features of global sports teams from their fans‟ perspective? What are the underlying mechanisms controlling the power of their brands? How do global sports fans demonstrate their support towards their favourite global teams? What are the outcomes of having a strong brand for a sports team? These are the key questions this research answers. The main purpose of this study is to outline the features of sports team brands that have contributed to their global status, in the opinion of their fans, and to investigate what a strong global sports team brand allows its management to achieve with reference to the available work on theories of brand globalisation. According to reports from research companies, global sports team brands are priced at substantial amounts of money, generate significant revenues and are a lure for millions of sports fans globally. The foreign market expansion plans of some global teams determine the need for advancing research on international sports team branding in order to better understand what characteristics make global team brands attractive for the international fan community and how overseas fans can contribute to the benefits gained by those brands. By focusing on the perspective of foreign fans of global sports team brands, this study adds especially to the international sports marketing literature dealing with sports team brands operating in the global marketplace.
This study employs a mixed-method approach to examine the perspective of fans of various sports teams on the phenomenon of their brands‟ globalisation. This approach is suitable for outlining the key components and outcomes of a global sports team brand from the fan point of view. The information gained from the literature and from qualitative interviews with sports marketing experts allows the researcher to examine in depth what constitutes a global sports team brand and to hypothesise a model of antecedents and consequences of fans‟ unique bond with their favourite global team brand. This model is tested in the quantitative online survey conducted among Polish fans of global sports teams. The total number of 614 usable survey responses is subjected to factor and regression analyses. Ultimately, the confirmatory interviews with fans add qualitative insight into the survey results and enhance the overall validity and generalisability of the study’s findings. The final model includes three antecedent variables –team brand identity, players/drivers and engagement through marketing –determining whether fans consider a particular global team as their favourite, and five consequences of this choice made by fans –team brand loyalty, team-related product purchase, media consumption, advocacy, and interaction with the team brand and fellow fans. The study concludes with the discussion of implications for the subject literature, methodology and practitioners.
|Date of Award||Nov 2017|
|Supervisor||Simon Chadwick (Supervisor)|