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Internationalisation and sport branding strategy: a French perception of the Big Four brands

Internationalisation and sport branding strategy: a French perception of the Big Four brands Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide better understanding of potential foreign customers or satellite fans' perceptions of professional‐football brands, as this constitutes a necessary step toward setting up an internationalisation strategy to create a global professional‐sport brand. Design/methodology/approach – Twelve semi‐directed individual interviews with French satellite fans about how they perceive the English Big Four brands of Arsenal Football Club (FC), Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United are conducted. Findings – The paper found the common and specific features of each club's brand equity and the typical fans' perceptions of the clubs, which constitute major dimensions upon which the clubs are differentiated in the customers' minds. It also identified such key antecedents to building strong professional‐sport brand equity in the French market as the fit between the image, the values or both of the foreign club and the local club a fan supports. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is the size of the sample, even if the saturation‐semantic criterion is applied. Practical implications – This paper emphasises the need for professional‐sport clubs not to underestimate the need for strategic‐marketing steps different from those used at home before implementing foreign marketing operations and constitutes a first step toward future research into the analysis of the perceptions of potential foreign customers or satellite fans in broader contexts. Originality/value – Although many studies have dealt with the perception of local professional‐sport brands, this paper represents one of the first empirical studies of the perceptions of professional‐football brands in a foreign market. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Internationalisation and sport branding strategy: a French perception of the Big Four brands

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1352-2752
DOI
10.1108/13522750910993356
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide better understanding of potential foreign customers or satellite fans' perceptions of professional‐football brands, as this constitutes a necessary step toward setting up an internationalisation strategy to create a global professional‐sport brand. Design/methodology/approach – Twelve semi‐directed individual interviews with French satellite fans about how they perceive the English Big Four brands of Arsenal Football Club (FC), Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United are conducted. Findings – The paper found the common and specific features of each club's brand equity and the typical fans' perceptions of the clubs, which constitute major dimensions upon which the clubs are differentiated in the customers' minds. It also identified such key antecedents to building strong professional‐sport brand equity in the French market as the fit between the image, the values or both of the foreign club and the local club a fan supports. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is the size of the sample, even if the saturation‐semantic criterion is applied. Practical implications – This paper emphasises the need for professional‐sport clubs not to underestimate the need for strategic‐marketing steps different from those used at home before implementing foreign marketing operations and constitutes a first step toward future research into the analysis of the perceptions of potential foreign customers or satellite fans in broader contexts. Originality/value – Although many studies have dealt with the perception of local professional‐sport brands, this paper represents one of the first empirical studies of the perceptions of professional‐football brands in a foreign market.

Journal

Qualitative Market Research: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 4, 2009

Keywords: Brands; Football; Sports; Globalization

References

  • Emerging trends in the use of the internet ? Lessons from the football sector
    Beech, J.; Chadwick, S.; Tapp, A.
  • Fandom affiliation and tribal behaviour: a sports marketing application
    Dionísio, P.; Leal, C.; Moutinho, L.
  • Image management in sport organisations: the creation of value
    Ferrand, A.; Pages, M.
  • Extending the understanding of professional team brand equity to the global marketplace
    Kerr, A.K.; Gladden, J.M.

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