What a Team Brand Means to Youth: An Examination of Team Brand Associations Held by Youth Fans

Patrick Walsh, Antonio Williams, Dae Yeon Kim, Wanyong Choi

Year: 2015 Volume: 19 Issue: c

Pages: 40-61

Abstract: Understanding team brand associations is important as they can contribute to the team’s awareness, image, ability to generate revenue, and a fan’s overall loyalty. While previous conceptualizations of team brand associations have added considerably to the study of brand associations in sport, they do not take into account the associations that may exist for varying target segments. One market segment that has grown in consumer sophistication and thus is important for teams to understand is that of youth consumers. It has also been suggested that we should not be assume that research on adult buying behavior and branding is applicable to this market segment. Therefore, this study utilized a free-thought listing technique with children ranging from 4 to 14 years of age in order to examine the specific team brand associations held by youth fans. The results suggest that brand associations that children hold for sport teams are not as well-developed as those of their adult counterparts and children tend to focus on product related attributes as the most common associations mentioned were the team’s star players, brand marks, the way the team plays, or simply that they mention the sport itself.