Articles in this issue:

  • Thilo Kunkel and Rui Biscaia

    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...Read more

  • James Du
    Christopher M. McLeod
    and Jeffrey D. James

    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...Read more

  • Yiran Su
    Bradley J. Baker
    Jason P. Doyle
    and Thilo Kunkel

    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...Read more

  • Jerred Junqi Wang
    Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove
    Thomas A. Baker
    Bo Li
    and James J. Zhang

    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...Read more

  • Claudio Rocha and Fiona Wyse

    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...Read more