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Team brand extension or licensed product? Examining consumer awareness of two distinct brand strategies

Patrick Walsh (Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Isabell Rhenwrick (Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Antonio Williams (Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Adia Waldburger (Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 6 May 2014

Abstract

Purpose

While brand extensions and licensing are two distinct brand strategies, recent literature suggests that licensing be treated as an “external” brand extension. As both of these strategies have the ability to have positive and negative effects on the team's brand it is important to understand if consumers are aware if they are purchasing licensed products or extensions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine if consumers are aware when a brand extension or licensing situation is present.

Design/methodology/approach

This research involved exposing participants to a total of 16 products (eight brand extensions and eight licensed products) and asking participants to indicate who developed the products they were exposed to.

Findings

The results suggest that participants had a difficult time correctly identifying team licensed products, while in general they were able to successfully identify team brand extensions.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides empirical evidence suggesting that licensed product should not be classified as brand extensions as has been previously suggested. As such, research on brand extensions may not be applicable to licensing and vice versa.

Practical implications

As there is some confusion in regards to who is manufacturing team licensed product, it is important that sport properties choose licensees that produce high quality products to limit potential negative effects on their brand.

Originality/value

This was the first known study to examine differences in consumer awareness of team brand extensions and licensed products.

Keywords

Citation

Walsh, P., Rhenwrick, I., Williams, A. and Waldburger, A. (2014), "Team brand extension or licensed product? Examining consumer awareness of two distinct brand strategies", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 96-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-02-2012-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited