Title: The aftermath of the latest labour conflict in the National Hockey League: the impact on brand equity

Authors: Francois Marticotte, Serge Carrier

Addresses: Departement de Marketing, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada. ' Management et Technologie (MET), Universite du Quebec a Montreal, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montreal, QC H3P 3P8, Canada

Abstract: Brand equity has been extensively studied. Yet few researches look at the sports industry and even fewer at hockey. Our research addresses this weakness. Adopting the Aaker conceptualisation, it evaluates the evolution of the National Hockey Leagues (NHLs) brand equity in the full-season following the cancelled 2004-2005 season. With questionnaires filled by more than 1500 respondents, it demonstrates the transferability of brand equity evaluation scales from consumer goods to sports and the substitution of product buyers with televised sports viewers. Our study clearly shows a fluctuation in the NHL|s brand equity in the year following its lockout and an important correlation between the respondents| interest in watching televised sports and their evaluation of the NHL|s brand equity. Our findings emphasise the importance for professional sports to negotiate television networks| coverage. We point to a number of future research avenues on brand equity and sports.

Keywords: brand equity; sport marketing; NHL; National Hockey League; brand awareness; brand image; labour relations; TV sports viewers; television; televised sports coverage; networked coverage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.021749

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.38 - 54

Published online: 01 Dec 2008 *

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