My research is positioned on the intersection of strategic management and marketing with a focus on the sport industry.

I analyse consumer data to help organizations build their brand, engage consumers, activate sponsorships and foster consumer loyalty. I am specialized in examining brand relationships within different brand architectures to provide insights into the positioning of brands in a competitive environment; and digital consumer engagement through gamification to provide insights into user behavior, app development, and monetisation.

The application of my research provides relevant stakeholders with solutions to improve the consumer experience, foster stakeholder engagement, and increase revenues.

Athlete Branding & Sponsorship

Click for details about my research how athletes position their brand and use social media to monetize their liking. 

Fan Engagement & Loyalty

Click for details about my research how teams and leagues develop their brands and attract more fans. 

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Kunkel, T. & Biscaia, R. (2023). Hitting it out of the park. Five tactics we can learn from athletes about building powerful personal brands. Fox Business Journal, 1 (4), 8-13. (ABDC List: Not ranked) Download

Ramos, R. F., Biscaia, R., Moro, S., & Kunkel, T. (2022). Understanding the importance of sport stadium visits to teams and cities through the eyes of online reviewers. Leisure Studies,(ABDC List: A) Download

Gupta, K., Su, Y., Kunkel, T., & Funk, D. (accepted April 2022). The super engagers of freemium gamified services: Using multimethod approach to examine why highly interactive consumers become paying consumers. Internet Research,(ABDC List: A) Download

Bredikhina, N. & Kunkel, T. (2022). Make it count: Comparing outcomes of activation and advertising-like event sponsorship. Event Management. (ABDC List: A) Download

Pizzo, A., Jones, G., Baker, B., Funk, D., & Kunkel, T. (2022). Sensemaking of novelty: The dynamic nature of integrating esports within a traditional sport organization. Sport Management Review, 25(3), 383-405 (ABDC List: A) Download

Bredikhina, N., Gupta, K., & Kunkel, T. (2022). Superboosting the athlete brand: Events as an opportunity for athlete brand growth on social media. European Sport Management Quarterly, (ABDC List: A) Download

Baker, B.J., Kunkel, T., Doyle, J., Su, Y., Bredikhina, N., & Biscaia, R. (2022). Remapping the brandscape. A review and future direction for sport brand research. Journal of Sport Management
(ABDC List: A) Download

Kunkel, T., Karg, A., & McDonald, H. (2022). The utility of a single item fandom measure for sport consumer segmentation and predicting behavior. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 31, 141-156 (ABDC List: B) Download

Doyle, J. P., Kunkel, T., Filo, K., Kelly, S., & Cuskelly, G. (2022). Seeing the same things differently: Exploring the unique brand associations linked to women’s professional sport teams. Journal of Strategic Marketing.(ABDC List: A). Download

Zhou, X., Funk, D.C., Kunkel, T., & Lu, L. (2020). Solving the athleisure myth: A means-end chain analysis of activewear consumption. Journal of Sport Management (ABDC List: A) Download

Huettermann, M. & Kunkel, T. (2021). The influence of non-transactional fan engagement behavior on merchandise consumption. Sport Marketing Quarterly (ABDC List: B) Download

Kunkel, T., Baker, B., Baker, T., & Doyle, J. P. (2021). There is no nil in NIL: Examining the social media value of student-athletes’ names, images, and likeness. Sport Management Review.(ABDC List: A). Download

Kunkel, T., Lock, D. & Doyle, J. P. (2021). Gamification via mobile applications: A longitudinal examination of its impact on attitudinal loyalty and behavior toward a core service. Psychology & Marketing (ABDC List: A) Download

Doyle, J.P., Su, Y., & Kunkel, T. (2020). Athlete branding via social media: examining the factors influencing consumer engagement on Instagram. European Sport Management Quarterly (ABDC List: A) Download

Kennedy, H., Kunkel, T., & Funk, D. (in press). Using predictive analytics to measure effectiveness of social media engagement: A digital measurement perspective. Sport Marketing Quarterly. (ABDC List: B) Download

Kunkel, T., Doyle, J.P., & Na, S. (accepted). More than an athlete: Developing an athlete’s personal brand image using strategic philanthropic initiatives. European Sport Management Quarterly (ABDC List: A) Download

Su, Y. & Kunkel, T. (accepted). When underdogs sell more: The significance of sponsorship on lesser-known brands in a competitive environment. Journal of Product & Brand Management (ABDC List: A) Download

Su, Y., Baker, B., Doyle, J., & Kunkel, T. (2020). Rise of an athlete brand: Factors influencing the social media following of athletes. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 29(1). 32-45. (ABDC List: B) Download

Su, Y., Kunkel, T., & Ye, N. (accepted). When abs don’t sell: The impact of male influencers conspicuously displaying a muscular body on female followers. Psychology and Marketing. (ABDC List: A) Download

Kunkel, T. & Biscaia, R. (2020). Sport Brands - Brand relationships and consumer behavior. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 29(1). 3-16. (ABDC List: B) Download

Kunkel, T., Biscaia, R., Arai, A., & Agyemang, K. (2020). Athlete brand image and its impact on fan, team, and sponsor loyalty: Examining the mediating role of self-brand connection. Journal of Sport Management, 34(3). 201-216. (ABDC List: A) Download

Kunkel, T. (2019). Brand platform in the professional sport industry: Sustaining growth through innovation. Mass Communication and Society, 22(5), 689-690. Download

Na, S., Kunkel, T., & Doyle, J. P. (2020). Exploring athlete brand image development on social media: The role of signalling through source credibility. European Sport Management Quarterly, 20, 88-108.(ABDC List: A) Download

Su, Y. & Kunkel, T. (2019). Beyond brand fit: The influence of brand contribution on the relationship between service brand alliance image and its parent brand. Journal of Service Management.(ABDC List: A) Download

Lee, M.A.*, Kunkel, T., Funk, D.C., McDonald, H., Karg, A. (in press). Relationship quality management for sport fans: Antecedents and outcomes. European Sport Management Quarterly DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2019.1613438(ABDC List: B) Download

Daniels, J.*, Kunkel, T.,& Karg, A. (2019). New brands: Contextual differences and development of brand associations over time.Journal of Sport Management. 33(2). 133-147. (ABDC List: A*) Download

Kunkel, T.,Walker, M., & Hodge, C. (2019). The influence of advertising appeals on consumer perceptions of athlete endorser brand image. European Sport Management Quarterly. 19(3), 373-395(ABDC List: B) Download

Sotiriadou, P., Filo, K. & Kunkel, T. (2018). Challenges to sport development and sport participation from sport managers' perspectives. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing 18(4), 267-284. (ABDC List: B). Download

Na, S., Su, Y., & Kunkel, T. (2019). Do not bet on your favourite football team: the influence of fan identity-based biases and sport context knowledge on game prediction accuracy. European Sport Management Quarterly. 19(3), 396-418 (ABDC List: B) Download

Kunkel, T., Funk, D. & Lock, D. (2017). The influence of the league brand on team involvement and team-related behavior. Journal of Sport Management. 31, 317-332 (ABDC List: A*) Download

Sharpe, S., Kunkel, T., Scott, O., & Beaton, A. (2017). Managing digital content for a professional sport team: An Interview with Bill Yole, Social Media Coordinator and Webmaster of the ACT Brumbies Super Rugby franchise. International Journal of Sport Communication. 10(3), 318-324 (ABDC List: B) Download

Kunkel, T., Doyle, J.D., & Berlin, A. (2017). Consumers’ Perceived Value of Sport Team Games - A multi-dimensional approach. Journal of Sport Management. 31. 80-95 (ABDC List: A*) Download

Scott, O., Beaton, A., Kunkel, T., & Sharpe, S. (2017). Media strategies to engage stakeholders and navigate crises: An Interview with Paul Glover, Media Manager of the ACT Brumbies Super Rugby Franchise. International Journal of Sport Communication. 10(2), 224-232 (ABDC List: B) Download

Scott, O. K. M. & Kunkel, T. (2016). Using self-categorization theory to uncover the framing of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: A cross-cultural comparison of two national newspapers, Journal of Sport Media. 11 123-144 (ABDC List: Not ranked) Download

Kunkel, T., Doyle, J.P., Funk, D.C., Du, J., & McDonald, H. (2016). The development and change of brand associations and their influence on team loyalty over time. Journal of Sport Management. 30(1), 117-134 (ABDC List: A*) Download

Lock, D., Filo, K., Kunkel, T., & Skinner, J. (2015):  The development of a framework to Capture Perceptions of Sport Organizations Legitimacy, Journal of Sport Management. 29 (4), 362-379 (ABDC List: A*) Download

Kunkel, T., Scott, O., & Beaton, A. (2016). Interview with Michael Lahoud, professional soccer player: Lessons of personal athlete branding via social media. International Journal of Sport Communication. 9, 415-423 (ABDC List: B) Download

Kunkel, T., Funk, D., & King, C. (2014). Developing a conceptual understanding of consumer-based league brand associations, Journal of Sport Management. 28 (1), 49-67 (ABDC List: A*) Download

Kunkel, T., Doyle, J., & Funk, D. (2014). Exploring sport brand development strategies to strengthen consumer involvement with the product – The case of the Australian A-League. Sport Management Review. 17 (4), 470-483 (ABDC List: A) Download

Kunkel, T., Funk, D., & Hill, B. (2013). Brand architecture and drivers of consumer involvement with professional sport leagues and teams, Journal of Sport Management, 27 (3), 177-192. (ABDC List: A) Download

Lock, D., Filo, K., Kunkel, T., & Skinner, J. (2013). Examining dimensions of legitimacy in community sport organisation, Sport Management Review, 16, 438-450 (ABDC List: A) Download

Koenigstorfer, J., Groeppel-Klein A., & Kunkel T. (2010): The attractiveness of national and international football leagues – Perspectives of fans of "star clubs" and "underdogs", European Sport Management Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 2, 127-163. (ABDC List: B) Download

Doyle, J., Kunkel, T., Funk, D. (2013). Sport spectator segmentation: Examining the differing psychological connections amongst spectators of leagues and teams. International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship, 14 (2), 95-111. (ABDC List: B) Download

Subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest research articles and updates.