Title: Surrogate brands – the pull to adopt an 'other' nation, via sports merchandise

Authors: Jonathan A.J. Wilson; Jonathan Liu

Addresses: Business School, Old Royal Naval College, University of Greenwich, Maritime Campus, London, SE10 9LS, UK. ' Regent's College London, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, England, NW1 4NS, UK

Abstract: This conceptual paper draws from phenomenological inductive reasoning and syllogisms, as a basis for conceptual metaphor theory and critical discourse analysis. It highlights a global phenomenon – which transcends national and cultural boundaries. De facto: sports participation and support necessitate that uniforms distinguish and identify associated parties. As a basic premise, uniform ownership suggests exclusivity and encouraged competition. However, now branded kit, teams, athletes and sponsors are entering symbiotic brand relationships – where they actively seek publics, open to multiple adopted national global identities. Significantly, consumers are choosing to wear sporting merchandise, from an 'other' nation, or region – whom they have no primary affiliation with. Rather, they are governed by a sharing of emotional and psychographic criteria, housed within a complex network of ascribed meaning towards brands. In short, sports uniform no longer demands restrictive monogamous loyalty. This draws consumers towards embracing temporal identities, culminating in an adopted national identity – termed surrogacy.

Keywords: international branding; nation branding; sports branding; national identity; brand extensions; brand stakeholders; cultural branding; surrogacy; multiculturalism; cross-culture; surrogate brands; conceptual metaphor theory; critical discourse analysis; brand relationships; sporting merchandise; sports uniform; sports kit.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2012.047131

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2012 Vol.11 No.3/4, pp.172 - 192

Available online: 01 Jun 2012 *

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