Brand extensions are attempts by companies to leverage consumer recognition into successful new product and service offerings. In the sport business, brand extensions have largely been limited to physical products, such as Gatorade creating energy bars or the National Football League (NFL) creating lines of clothing. Recently, sport leagues have begun to leverage their intangible product—the entertainment of the game—to create brand extensions in the form of new sport leagues. The purpose of this paper is to examine the NFL’s brand extensions: the World League of American Football (WLAF) and NFL Europe. Introduced by Park, Milberg, and Lawson (1991), the criteria for analyzing these extensions consists of two dimensions: 1) product feature similarity, or the degree to which the original product and the extension have the same product attributes, and 2) brand concept consistency, referring to the degree to which the original product’s abstract meaning is passed on to the brand extension. Following a summary and evaluation of the WLAF and NFL Europe products, the authors offer strategic suggestions to other leagues considering similar brand extension endeavors.
Search Keywords:case study, National Football League Europe, international sport marketing, brand extension