Factors Influencing Fan Acceptance or Rejection of a Sport Team’s Revolutionary Rebrand

Jason Simmons
Michael L. Naraine
and Chris Greenwell

Using the context of the Washington Football Team, the current study examined the importance of six brand associations (team colors, community integration, culture/traditions, nickname, logo, uniform style) on fan attitudes toward a revolutionary rebrand. Data were collected from 669 Washington Football Team fans through an online questionnaire. A rating-based conjoint analysis was used to test for the relative influence of each brand association on brand desirability and rejection. Separate analyses were conducted based on respondent geographic location, existing attitudes toward the name change, and level of passion for the team. Across all analyses, team color scheme was at least three times more important than any other association. Findings suggest respondents are more likely to view the revolutionary rebrand favorably if the team keeps its existing color scheme. Conversely, brand friction is likely to occur should the color scheme change, as fans continue to wear merchandise associated with the brand prerevolution.