Title: If brand equity matters, where is the brand strategy? A look at Canadian hockey teams in the NHL

Authors: Andre Richelieu, Frank Pons

Addresses: Departement de Marketing, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada. ' Departement de Marketing, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada

Abstract: This paper examines the strategies and actions Canadian professional hockey teams implement in order to build and exploit their brand. Data were collected during one-on-one interviews with vice presidents and marketing directors of four teams: the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs (TML) and the Vancouver Canucks. Our results, based on content analysis, show that Canadian teams, while aware of the importance of branding, do not have a formal brand strategy, with the exception of the TML. Consequently, their marketing actions do not contribute in building, leveraging and ensuring coherence of their team|s brand. Furthermore, the NHL does not help its teams by centralising teams| branding.

Keywords: brand equity; professional sports; brand strategy; ice hockey; Canada; sport marketing; NHL; National Hockey League; Canadian teams; team branding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.021757

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.162 - 182

Published online: 01 Dec 2008 *

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