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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Drivers of attitudes toward sport teams for fans and non-fans

Published: May 27, 2020


Reinhard Grohs, Seeburg Castle University; Christof Backhaus, Aston Business School; Oliver Koll, University of Innsbruck; David Woisetschläger, Technische Universität Braunschweig


brand attitude; brand associations; sport team


On the background of the rising economic relevance of professional sports, this paper examines how specific brand association characteristics (i.e., number and favorability of brand associations) affect consumers’ attitudes toward professional sport teams. Applying fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) the study shows that, as expected, for both highly and less identified fans many favorable associations lead to very high sport team brand attitude. For highly identified fans, favorable associations also lead to very high sport team brand attitude, independent of their number. For neutral spectators and rival fans, associations with low favorability lead to low brand attitude, independent of their number. In addition, for neutral spectators, having few associations also results in low brand attitude, independent of their valence. Implications for (sport team) brand managers and further research areas are discussed.