Are They Wearing Their Pride on Their Sleeve? Examining the Impact of Team and University Identity upon Brand Equity

Henry Wear
Bob Heere
and Aaron Clopton

This study examined the effectiveness of sportswear companies’ sponsorship of intercollegiate athletic departments, and the subsequent effects on the students of the university. The value of these sponsorship contracts has grown exponentially, with new contracts averaging $6 million a year per institution (Kish, 2014). However, little research has been devoted to the impact of the relationship between sportswear brands and university students, and it is uncertain what the return on investment of these sponsorships are to the apparel companies, other than media exposure. To examine how effective these sponsorships were, the researchers asked students about their identification with a college basketball team, the university itself, and conducted a linear regression analysis to understand the effect of these identification processes on the brand equity of the sportswear sponsor. Results were not statistically significant, signifying that team and university identification did not impact sportswear brand equity.