This article presents an overview of athlete branding research. Managing athletes as brands has become an important managerial and academic topic in sport management. However, the number of studies specialized in athlete branding is still limited. By reviewing the paradigm shifts of branding research in the mother field of marketing, the article attempts to identify the research gap in athlete branding research. Other recommendations to stimulate future research in athlete branding are provided.
Over the last three decades, the conceptual and theoretical importance of team identification has increased. However, many previous studies have confused role identity-based team identification with the group identity-based approach, failing to distinguish between these two constructs. In light of this concern, the current study presents a thorough review of the key concepts and theories underlying team identification. Through a conceptual analysis, we explained the construct of team identification and its impact on consumer behavior on the basis of four relevant theories (identity theory, social identity theory, organizational identification theory, and the consumer-company identification framework). Furthermore, an empirical study, which was a complementary part of this research, showed that the impact of group identity-based team identification on consumers' collective self-esteem and behavioral loyalty was stronger than that of role identity-based team identification. Our conceptual arguments and directions for future research contribute to the advancement of knowledge on sport fans.
In sport management, there are few studies that have paid its attention to sport involvement among spectators. Thus, examining sport involvement to understand the sport consumption behavior of spectators is important. The purposes of this study are (1) to provide evidence of the reliability, construct validity, and hierarchical structure of the proposed spectator involvement scale and (2) to examine the relationships of spectator involvement with several outcome variables. We analyzed a sample of 892 spectators at professional soccer and baseball games in Japan. The results of confirmatory factor analysis indicated the reliability and validity of the spectator involvement scale which consisted of five factors. The findings of structural equation modeling supported the relationship between spectator involvement and the outcome variables.
It is critical for sport management researchers to comprehend the unique aspects of products provided by sport organizations. The present paper, including two studies, attempted to clarify the product attributes of professional sport clubs in consideration of competitive relations with other products. The first study employed literature reviews and conceptual approaches, whereas the second study used quantitative data to examine the attributes empirically. Using the following three perspectives; relationships with products in the same categories, industries to belong, and benefits to provide, the first study identified several product attributes of sport clubs that do not apply to common understanding in privious studies on management. The second study clarified distinctive benefits of spectating games (e.g., excitement and vicarious achievement), which were different from the benefits offered by other leisure activities. It was also found that consumers highly involved in a product (i.e., spectating a game) were likely to obtain various benefits.