Sports Marketing

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IJRDM 37,4

Consumer-brand relationships in sport: brand personality and identification
Brad D. Carlson
John Cook School of Business, Saint Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Received May 2007 Revised October 2007, February 2008 Accepted April 2008

D. Todd Donavan
College of Business, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, and

Kevin J. Cumiskey
William S. Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between the brand personality of a sports team and the related consumer outcomes of identification and retail spending. Design/methodology/approach – A field study was conducted with games watched and retail spending as outcomes. Structural equation modeling was used to explore the relationships among constructs. Findings – The two brand personality dimensions of wholesomeness and successfulness are mediated through prestige to predict the consumer’s identification with the team. The two brand personality dimensions of imaginativeness and toughness positively influence identification with the team while successfulness has a negative influence on identification with the team. Once a consumer identifies with the team quasi-brand, retail spending and viewership increase. Practical implications – Sports teams can utilise information gleaned from this study to better promote an attractive image, thereby increasing the number of games watched and retail spending. Originality/value – This paper presents an original twist on personality research by looking at the influence of the brand personality of an intangible sport brand on consumer identification and retail spending. Keywords Brand identity, Personality, Sports, Consumer behaviour, Buyer-seller relationships Paper type Research paper

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