Title: Winning the loyalty cup: impact of symbol-related brand elements on brand loyalty of sports clubs

Authors: Aravind Reghunathan; Joshy Joseph

Addresses: Bournemouth University, Poole, UK ' Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Abstract: Extant research in marketing has recognised the importance of branding in sports. Professional sports clubs are considered to be big brands, and fan loyalty is a crucial factor in determining their success. Brand elements are the building blocks of brands and are used by brand managers to create distinct associations in consumers' minds, resulting in brand recall and recognition. This study employs the context of football to explore the relationship between the symbol-related brand elements of a sports club and brand loyalty towards the club. We find that the brand elements, the history of the club, jersey and logo positively influence brand loyalty towards a sports club. The study sheds light on the importance of brand elements for a sports club brand and can help brand managers and sponsors to focus more on investments in brand elements that matter, as opposed to those which do not.

Keywords: brand awareness; brand associations; sponsorships; brand loyalty; sports brands; sports marketing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2021.118823

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2021 Vol.21 No.3/4, pp.245 - 264

Accepted: 14 Mar 2021
Published online: 29 Oct 2021 *

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