Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

Guest Editor of Special Issue

Sport Brands: Brand Relationships and Consumer Behavior

I am guest editing a special issue at the Sport Marketing Quarterly (SMQ) together with Rui Biscaia. SMQ is the premier sport marketing journal with an impact factor of 1.143 and we are excited to contribute to knowledge on sport brands.

The most valuable asset entities (e.g., athletes, teams, leagues, events, sponsors) within the sport industry have is their brand. Sport marketing researchers have developed initial understanding of consumer-based perceptions of sport brands. Most of these studies focus on examining components of brand equity (e.g., awareness, personality, associations, image, etc.) of a single entity, yet these entities do not operate in isolation.

Consequently, there is a lack of academic research related to sport brand networks, which is in stark contrasts with the reality of the sport industry where multiple brands are directly or indirectly connected to each other. Given that brands interact with other brands we seek submissions that contribute to further understand the relationships between two, or more, brands. 

Additionally, existing research on sport brands, and their relationship with other brands, is mainly focused on consumers’ attitudes and often neglects actual behaviors. While the digital environment is becoming increasingly important for sport entities providing opportunities to develop and manage their brand, and serves as an interaction platform for multiple brands within the sport industry, it also enables researchers to collect behavioral data. Given the increased opportunities to collect behavioral data, we also seek submissions that contribute to a better understanding of actual behavior toward sport brands (e.g., consumer, employee, or organization). 

This special issue is aimed to advance the management of brands within the sport industry. Manuscripts investigating a wide variety of topical areas (e.g., consumer and employee behavior; sponsorship; participant or spectators; digital and social media behavior; field experiments) will be reviewed, and specific topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Sport brand architecture and image spillover effects (e.g., athlete-team, team-league, league-sponsor, sponsor-sponsor).
  • Brand development in a digital environment (e.g., athletes, teams, leagues, events, & sponsors).
  • Consumer (employee) engagement with sport brands in a digital environment.
  • Digital marketing strategies for sport brands.
  • Sport brand and e-commerce (e.g., impact of branding on sales).
  • Sport brand digital ecosystems (e.g., intelligent stadiums, augmented reality, apps).
  • Sport brands and viral content.
  • Ambush marketing, official sponsorship and brand building of related entities.
  • (Re)Branding strategies and metrics of on-field and off-field performance.
  • Charity-based branding and related entities (e.g., charity and athlete).
  • Brand management and varying strategies over the course of a season (e.g., how to deal with on-field failure, success, and scandals).

Manuscripts should follow the standard author guidelines for Sport Marketing Quarterly and should be submitted through the online manuscript management platform Editorial Express. During the submission process, please select “Special Issue Paper” under “Sport Brands and the Digital Environment.”

Manuscripts should be submitted no later than January 15, 2019 to receive full consideration for publication in the special issue. Manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal while they are under review by Sport Marketing Quarterly, nor should they have been previously published. Anticipated publication of the accepted manuscripts is December 2019.