Identifying Unique Brand Associations of a Major Women's Sporting Event

Maddocks-Henderson, Max
Michael, Naylor
Mel, Johnston
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Master of Sport, Exercise and Health
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Auckland University of Technology

Brand associations, in simple terms, are any links that are made between a consumer and a given brand. With the known positive impact that brand associations have on consumer behaviour, growing the field of knowledge that sports teams have on brand associations could help to develop team image, awareness and revenues. The identified gap in brand association studies is around women's sporting events. Two key phases of data were completed. First, an online screening questionnaire obtained demographic information as well as answers to a free-thought listing task. The second stage was a series of eight semi- structured interviews, where answers of the free-thought listing task were further explored. Analysis of both data sets provided insights into the brand associations of the Women's Rugby World Cup 2021 (WRWC2021). Five key brand associations were identified and further explored within the relevant literature. The associations were Cultural Presence, Athlete Virtue, Camaraderie, Inspiration and Exceeded Expectations. The findings of this study will be useful for informing event organizers of future major women's sporting events and their marketing strategies.

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