Out with the old and in with the new: a study of new kit sponsorship and brand associations in the Barclays Premier League

Published on May 15, 2015in Journal of Product & Brand Management
· DOI :10.1108/JPBM-07-2014-0657
Robert J. Thomas101
Estimated H-index: 101
(Cardiff Metropolitan University)
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of brand associations and the formation of attitudes towards a new sponsor. Specifically, the paper evaluates the Under Armour brand and its anomalous position in the Barclay’s Premier League. Design/methodology/approach – The research design is longitudinal, qualitative and interpretivistic, utilising 26 online focus groups with 213 participants over a 24-month period encompassing the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 Premier League seasons. Findings – The results indicate that Under Armour’s lack of football (soccer) presence in the context of the Premier League offered significant differentiation, as it diminished “common ground” with other fans, offered the opportunity to create personal identities beyond the club and the consumption of kit apparel, and was seen as positive given the articulation that brands such as Nike and Adidas were “forced” onto fans. Additionally, for the first time in the sports sponsorship literature, the findings reveal fans en...
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