Title: Rebranding Thailand through football - food for thought?

Authors: Nnamdi O. Madichie; Chris Mbah

Addresses: Graduate Studies Division, School of Business Administration, Canadian University of Dubai, P.O. Box 117781, Dubai, UAE ' Department of Business Studies, University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea

Abstract: The purpose of this exploratory study is to highlight the potential of sports and especially football as nation branding tool. Taking the particular case of a developing Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) country, Thailand, which has been embroiled in a catalogue of negative brand perceptions, the study highlights a potential avenue for rebranding. The study is primarily documentary analysis driven, drawing upon a mixture of official statistics, contingent literature and personal observation - especially the on-pitch performance of the War Elephants (Thai national football team) at the Suzuki Cup organised by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF). Overall the study advances a potential avenue for a perception change of global observers (including potential investors) of a country with a historically entrenched negative brand image.

Keywords: ASEAN Football Federation; AFF; Suzuki Cup; nation branding; Thailand; War Elephants; country rebranding; soccer; brand perceptions; national football teams; negative brands.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2015.068772

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2015 Vol.25 No.1, pp.1 - 17

Received: 19 Mar 2014
Accepted: 21 Sep 2014

Published online: 10 Apr 2015 *

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