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EMAC 2023 Annual

Brand Commercialization

Published: May 24, 2023


Vanessa O'Neill, Technische Universität Braunschweig; Christof Backhaus, Edinburgh Napier University Business School; T. Cornwell, Unviersity of Oregon; David Woisetschläger, Technische Universität Braunschweig


Brands evolve and, in doing so, change their relationship with consumers; this evolution often takes a path of commercialization. Commercialization is an often discussed phenomenon that has been proven of relevance in multiple industries. Through a quantitative study in the con-text of professional team sports, this research examines brand commercialization in terms of consumers’ perceptions of the brand as well its consequences. Findings show that brand com-mercialization leads to a loss of authenticity and consumer feelings of ambivalence toward the brand, resulting in brand alienation and a deterioration of desired behavioral outcomes for the focal brand and stakeholders. By contrast, positive aspects of brand commercialization offset negative aspects and lead, mediated by authenticity, to an increased team loyalty and sponsor WOM. The results of the analysis offer decision makers a deeper understanding of the con-cept of brand commercialization and its consequences.