The University of Notre Dame: An Examination of the Impact and Evaluation of Brand Equity in NCAA Division I-A Football, pp. 38-48

Jennifer E. Bruening
Min Yong Lee

The purpose of this case study is to examine the impact of Tyrone Willingham¡¯s tenure as head football coach on the brand equity of the University of Notre Dame. Brand equity is traditionally viewed as a cyclical phenomenon (Gladden, Milne, & Sutton, 1998) with longitudinal examinations being the preferred method of evaluation. This case study focuses on a three-year time period for reasons grounded in the literature and, as in this particular case, the practical consideration that Tyrone Willingham¡¯s tenure at the University of Notre Dame lasted three years. Notre Dame University¡¯s brand equity can be intensified locally and expanded globally given its long-standing tradition of football and, as of the beginning of the 2004 season, Willingham¡¯s distinction as being one of only five African American NCAA Division I-A football coaches. The team, the football program, the University of Notre Dame community (including students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni), and the community beyond the Notre Dame campus are evaluated as part of this brand equity equation. (N.B. All names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of those who participated in interviews for this study).