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A brand, a star and a goal : A study of the interaction between organizational and personal sport brands

by Mohn, Martin; Berggren, Martin

Abstract (Summary)
With the increasing professionalism in Swedish sport comes an increasing awareness of the importance of brands. Athletes have become tools in the organizations’ efforts to enhance their brand. Also, the athletes’ personal brands have had increasing attention and the interactions between the organization brand and the athlete as a symbol have become an interesting topic.The thesis aims to examine the implications of having an athlete’s personal brand as a symbol of the sport organization brand.With a qualitative method, we have studied one club from Allsvenskan and one from Elitserien. The empirical data were collected with personal interviews of marketing managers from Elfsborg and HV71 together with the football player Samuel Holmén and hockey player Johan Davidsson. An additional interview was made with the sport journalist Erik Niva. The empirical findings were then analyzed and defined with existing and relevant brand theories and models.By identifying parts of the analysis crucial for answering our research questions, we have come to the following conclusions. The sport organizations actively manage the athlete in favor of enhancing the brand and understand the importance of having a player as a symbol. Furthermore, we have found that it is hard for the organization to implement the brand identity among player and that the organization, by choosing which type of player to sign, can direct the brand identity. We have concluded that the athlete understands the benefits of having a strong personal brand, but lack the strategies to achieve it. Even with this increased awareness of personal brands, we found no evidence that this leads to a conflict between the organization brand and the personal brand. With the increasing professionalism in Swedish sport comes an increasing awareness of the importance of brands. Athletes have become tools in the organizations’ efforts to enhance their brand. Also, the athletes’ personal brands have had increasing attention and the interactions between the organization brand and the athlete as a symbol have become an interesting topic.The thesis aims to examine the implications of having an athlete’s personal brand as a symbol of the sport organization brand.With a qualitative method, we have studied one club from Allsvenskan and one from Elitserien. The empirical data were collected with personal interviews of marketing managers from Elfsborg and HV71 together with the football player Samuel Holmén and hockey player Johan Davidsson. An additional interview was made with the sport journalist Erik Niva. The empirical findings were then analyzed and defined with existing and relevant brand theories and models.By identifying parts of the analysis crucial for answering our research questions, we have come to the following conclusions. The sport organizations actively manage the athlete in favor of enhancing the brand and understand the importance of having a player as a symbol. Furthermore, we have found that it is hard for the organization to implement the brand identity among player and that the organization, by choosing which type of player to sign, can direct the brand identity. We have concluded that the athlete understands the benefits of having a strong personal brand, but lack the strategies to achieve it. Even with this increased awareness of personal brands, we found no evidence that this leads to a conflict between the organization brand and the personal brand.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:brands sport organizations personal

ISBN:

Date of Publication:03/07/2007

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