The objective of this research is to understand and compare the perceived brand positioning of two football megabrands (Adidas and Nike) for a specific social group, the registered amateur football players in France, using the social representation theory (SRT) as the theoretical framework and the free word associations as the main method.
A survey was conducted through face-to-face questionnaire among a convenience sample of registered amateur football players in France (n = 362) and for which 52 percent chose Adidas and 48 percent Nike.
Findings demonstrated that Adidas and Nike have a different perceived brand positioning for the registered amateur football players in France. Adidas is perceived as more typical and positioned “inside the football ground” through main characteristics of its football goods for training and competition. Nike is more positioned “outside the football ground” through their sportswear goods for daily life and fashion.
The interest of this research is to be primarily inductive and focus on a specific group (membership of registered amateur football players) to understand the perceived brand positioning in the football market. The method allows activating the belonging with this group (higher level of practice with these brands) by using the SRT method of free word associations. Thanks to this original approach, results could help managers of Nike and Adidas reinforce their brand positioning and gain market share, as well as build their specific brand community like both megabrands did for the runners in France.
Lebrun, A.-M., Neveu, Q. and Bouchet, P. (2020), "Comparing perceived brand positioning through social representations among registered amateur football players", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 125-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-08-2018-0061
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