How Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Identities Lead to Corporate Brand Equity: An Evaluation in the Context of Sport Teams as Brand Extensions

Shang-Chun Ma and Kyriaki Kaplanidou

This study examines relationships among perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR), perceived team CSR, social identities, and corporate brand equity in the context of using Chinese professional baseball teams as brand extensions. Data from online surveys of Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) consumers (N = 467) were analyzed using structural equation modeling and the SPSS macro PROCESS. Findings revealed that perceived CSR and perceived team CSR have a direct positive effect on corporate brand equity. The results also showed that consumer-company identity mediates the relationship between perceived CSR and corporate brand equity; the relationship between perceived team CSR and corporate brand equity is sequentially mediated by team identity and consumer-company identity. Beyond the CSR initiatives, city identity positively influenced corporate brand equity via team and consumer-company identity. Implications for fostering brand equity and brand values are discussed, focusing on using CSR and city identity as the means of positive influence.