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Retro marketing has become a staple in sport marketing practices. Teams and leagues are attempting to connect their fans to the past in a magnitude of ways. The usage of retro marketing in sport in vast, and the media is often promoting team’s usage of retro marketing. Despite the influx of retro marketing in sport, there has been no examination of it to date. This study examined the various usages of retro marketing in sport and through an inductive approach created a framework that categorized and broadly defined each. The five practical areas of retro marketing in sport were constructed and include: imagery, merchandising, venue, gameday promotions, and advertising. The authors shaped and framed retro marketing in sport through these five dimensions as they encompassed the retro marketing practices examined and are often relied upon marketing elements. Further, the authors suggest multiple avenues for future research on this topic.
Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly 197
Sport Marketing Quarterly, 2018, 27, 197-210, © 2018 West Virginia University
A Conceptual Framework for Retro
Marketing in Sport
Zach Scola and Brian S. Gordon
Zach Scola is a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kan-
sas. His research interests include consumer behavior, retro marketing in sport, and sport fan ritualistic behavior.
Brian S. Gordon, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences at the University
of Kansas. His research interests include consumer behavior/psychology, brand management of sport organizations, and fan
Retro marketing has become a staple in sport marketing practices. Teams and leagues are attempting to
connect their fans to the past in a magnitude of ways. Despite the inux of retro marketing in sport, there has
been no examination of it to date. is study examined the various usages of retro marketing in sport and
through an inductive approach created a framework that categorized and broadly dened each usage. e
ve practical areas of retro marketing in sport were constructed: imagery, merchandising, venue, gameday
promotions, and advertising. e authors shaped and framed retro marketing in sport through these ve
dimensions, as they encompassed the retro marketing practices examined and are oen relied upon mar-
keting elements. Further, the authors suggest multiple avenues for future research on this topic, including
understanding a sport organization’s usage of these practices and the impact they have on sport consumers.
Keywords: retro marketing, conceptual framework, nostalgia, brand management, strategic marketing
It has become commonplace for sport teams and
leagues to utilize retro marketing, oen coined with
phrases like “throwback” or “turn back the clock
night.” Despite the heavy usage of retro marketing in
sport and increased attention in popular press, there
has been minimal academic attention attempting to
understand these practices. In the general marketing
eld, scholars have given the concept a requisite
amount of examination, primarily involving the im-
pact of producing retro brands. Brown, Kozinets, and
Sherry (2003) dened retro branding as the relaunch-
ing of a product or service that is also brought up to
contemporary consumers’ standards. Reecting on
his retro marketing research, Brown (2013) described
how he thought the “nostalgia boom” was just a fad,
yet more than 15 years aer beginning his research
on retro marketing, it has grown and continued to be
a successful marketing strategy. e sporting realm
is no exception to the ever-growing usage of retro
marketing as many professional teams and leagues
have continued to incorporate retro elements into their
overall marketing strategies.
Sport marketers have found a plethora of avenues to
utilize retro marketing while teams and leagues also
continue to implement retro marketing strategies.
e ways in which teams can utilize retro marketing
and remind their fans of the team’s past are immense.
Retro marketing can stretch from the intensive process
the Toronto Raptors went through of redesigning their
uniforms and court to resemble a former basketball
team from Toronto called the Huskies for multiple
games during the 2016–2017 season (Dator, 2016) to
simply implementing throwback uniforms as alternate
jerseys like the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates
did during the 2016 season (McGuire, 2016; Snyder,
2016a). Even when teams go through a redesign, they
oen consider retro elements. Both the Golden State
Warriors in 2010 and the Toronto Maple Leafs in
2016 utilized aspects of their past in a complete logo
and uniform redesign. e two teams went back to
logos and colors that had been used in prior years and
paid homage to their successful pasts (Creamer, 2016;
198 Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly
“Golden State Warriors Unveil New Logo,” 2010).
Retro marketing is heavily utilized in imagery both
temporarily with throwback uniforms and in more
long term ways when teams conduct logo and jersey
rowback uniforms and logos appear to be the
most commonplace utilization of retro marketing; this
is likely due to the fact that each throwback uniform
creates a new line of merchandise for their fans to
purchase. ere are numerous other avenues teams
utilize with retro marketing in mind. One example is
“turn back the clock” nights, which oen use throw-
back uniforms and encourage fans to dress up as if
they were in a dierent era; both the Seattle Mariners
and a summer collegiate team, the Eau Claire Express,
had turn back the clock nights during their 2016 and
2015 seasons, respectively (“Express Announce,” 2015;
Young, 2016). Additionally, teams do promotional
giveaways that are retro, as the Chicago Cubs did by
giving away 1916 jerseys during the 2016 season to
commemorate their 100th year playing at Wrigley
Field (Yellon, 2016). e Detroit Lions went as far as
having a retro pricing promotion during the 2016
season, where they oered beer and hotdog pricing
from the 1991 season (“Detroit Lions to feature,” 2016).
Another way that teams use retro marketing is by
creating team hall of fames or museums such as the
Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England
Patriots, and numerous other NFL teams have to
remind their fans of the team’s past success and to
allow the fans to reect on it (Belson, 2014).
As the authors have detailed, retro marketing is
heavily utilized by sport teams and leagues, yet it
has received scant academic attention in the sport
marketing literature. Sport marketing has become
its own academic discipline, in part because of the
incredible uniqueness that the sport product oers
to managers and consumers (Coakley, 2007; Mullin,
Hardy, & Sutton, 2014) and it is necessary for sport
marketing scholars to examine how the eld itself
diers from the general marketing context. Sport is
unique from general marketing in that it cannot be
marketed like a general good or service (Coakley,
2007), and the most unique feature may be how fans
can develop an irrational passion for their team that
normal consumers do not demonstrate (Hoye, Smith,
Nicholson, & Stewart, 2015). Beyond this irrational
passion from consumers, a sporting event diers from
traditional goods and services in its unpredictability,
simultaneously consumption and production, and
in the subjective experiences from fan to fan as no
two fans have the exact same experience (DeSensi
& Rosenberg, 2010). ese factors together make
marketing a sporting product distinct, but additionally
oer extensive avenues through which sport marketers
can implement retro into their marketing plan.
To this end, scholars have argued that nostalgia is
an under researched area in the sport realm (Gordon,
2013). We also know that nostalgia plays a prominent
role in impacting consumer attitudes and intentions
in the general marketing context (Merchant & Rose,
2013; Pascal, Sprott, & Muehling, 2002). Given the
fact that sport consumers tend to join social categories
(i.e., become fans of a specic team) that will enhance
their own self-concept (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) as well
as associate them with successful teams in an eort
to reap self-esteem benets (Cialdini et al., 1976), it
stands to reason that a salient and successful sport
team brand heritage may be a considerable marketing
asset. Further, an in-depth knowledge of team history
has been found to be one of the hallmarks of the
allegiant sport consumer (Funk & Pastore, 2000) and
a central team brand association along with nostalgic
feelings (Bauer, Stokburger-Sauer, & Exler, 2008;
Gladden & Funk, 2002; Ross, James, & Vargas, 2006).
As retro marketing is so oen utilized in sport and
past research has hinted at the immense potential of
nostalgia as a sport marketing asset, it is important for
scholars to have a conceptual framework that explains
retro marketing in sport in detail. erefore, the
purpose of this paper is to use an inductive approach
to create a conceptual framework of what comprises
retro marketing in sport and categorize these practices
into broad, established themes that encapsulate sport
marketing retro practices.
eoretical Framework
In order to understand retro marketing in sport, it is
rst important to understand the theoretical under-
pinnings of retro marketing from past literature. In
the eld of sport management, it is important that we
conduct theory-based and theory-building research
(Doherty, 2013). e theory that was utilized to
understand the potential impact of retro marketing
in sport on the consumer was the Stimulus-Organ-
ism-Response framework (S-O-R), which describes the
way in which a stimulus, which can include an aspect
of marketing or environmental factors (Bagozzi, 1986),
impacts the consumers feelings and decisions. Beyond
the S-O-R framework, the authors felt it was important
to review the literature on nostalgia and retro market-
ing in sport.
Stimulus-Organism-Response Framework
Mehrabian and Russell’s original S-O-R framework
considered the environment the stimulus, primary
emotional responses the organism, and behavioral
Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly 199
responses as the response (Mehrabian & Russell,
1974, as cited by Vieira, 2013). e three aspects of
this framework have been used in numerous studies
on consumer research. In this model, the stimulus
is considered the factors that impact the internal
states of the consumers and inuence the individual’s
decision making (Eroglu, Machleit, & Davis, 2001).
Next, the organism is the “internal processes and
structures intervening between stimuli external to the
person and the nal actions, reactions, or responses
emitted. e intervening processes and structures
consist of perceptual, physiological, feeling, and
thinking activities” (Bagozzi, 1986, p. 46). Last, the
response is the ultimate decision or outcome that an
individual comes to (Chang, Eckman, & Yan, 2011).
Using the S-O-R framework, consumer behavior
research typically examines approach behaviors as
they are the positive outcomes that marketers hope
to see out of their consumers (Chang et al., 2011). e
original framework considered aspects like color and
temperature of the stimulus and focused on pleasure
arousal and dominance as characteristics describing
the emotional response or organism (Vieira, 2013).
Exploration, aliation, and preference comprised the
original responses under examination while many
other responses have been considered in studies that
have adapted this model, primarily examining con-
sumer preference behaviors (Vieira, 2013).
Specically, the S-O-R framework has been used
to examine consumer emotions (Sherman, Mathur,
& Belk Smith, 1997), traditional and online retail
atmospheres (Chang et al., 2011; Eroglu et al., 2001),
hospitality and nostalgia (Hunt & Johns, 2013), and
the atmosphere of major sporting events (Uhrich &
Koenigstorfer, 2009). is framework has been used
in a variety of research settings involving consumer
behavior and has been successful in encapsulating the
behaviors of the consumers (response) based on the
marketing practices (stimulus). Hunt and John (2013)
suggested the positive emotions primarily evoked from
nostalgia acting as a stimulus operate as approach
behavior, thus creating positive marketing outcomes
for the organization. e fact that S-O-R has been
eective in understanding consumer behavior and
incorporating retro marketing into a multitude of
marketing tactics is a distinct example of adapting the
stimulus. e authors deemed this framework appro-
priate to explain the underlying mechanisms of how
retro marketing operates in the sport environment.
Before examining the retro marketing practices in
sport, it is important to understand the literature on
nostalgia and retro marketing in sport.
Literature Review
e denition and understanding of nostalgia has
drastically changed since it rst appeared as a medical
term in the late 1600s (Batcho, 2013). Nostalgia has
progressed from being considered a physical sickness,
to a mental illness, and now to a feeling of longing for
the past (Batcho, 1995; 2013). Others have found and
claimed that nostalgia is positive for individuals, yet
may be brought on by negative feelings such as loneli-
ness (Sedikides, Wildschut, Arndt, & Routledge, 2008;
Wildschut, Sedikides, Arndt, & Routledge, 2006).
Nostalgia has been considered in the traditional mar-
keting literature to be an eective strategy to positively
impact their consumers.
Numerous studies have considered what impact a
retro marketing practice may have on consumers and
most consider the inuence of nostalgia. Pascal et al.
(2002) found a positive correlation between nostalgic
feelings for an advertisement and improved attitudes
towards the advertisement. Scholars have found that
consumers have dierent types of eective nostalgia
that can be tapped into via marketing schemes and
have specically found that drawing on a consum-
er’s past group memberships may be exceptionally
eective (Sierra & McQuitty, 2007; Zhao, Li, Teng, &
Lu, 2014). Interesting for the sport context, Merchant
and Rose (2013) found that vicarious nostalgia could
impact consumers when exposed to marketing prac-
tices paying homage to the past. is concept means
that individuals can feel nostalgic about a time before
their existence. Brown (2013) contends the terms
retro and nostalgia are related but not synonymous.
To specify, retro marketing utilizes modern materials
and technology performance wise, but hints at the
past, whereas nostalgia marketing would be simply
recreating an old practice. For example, when a team
uses a retro uniform or a retro give away item, the
performance and quality of the item is up to date and
the imagery or coloring is meant to elicit the past. If
a team were to simply reuse an old advertisement, or
giveaway a jersey that was created in the 1970s and has
not been updated, this would be nostalgic marketing.
Based upon the ndings from this study, the authors
have deemed the practices utilized by sport marketers
to be retro, not nostalgic, marketing. Retro marketing
has become extremely prevalent in the sporting world
and similar to traditional marketing scholars, most of
the research has focused on the impact of nostalgia.
Retro Marketing in Sport
Over the last 20 years, marketing scholars have
examined retro marketing and many claimed the
200 Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly
heavy reliance on it was due to consumers’ increased
nostalgia from the n de siècle eect (Stern, 1992).
e n de siècle eect explains that there is cultural
anxiety about the experiences involving discontinuity
that is associated with the end of an era. e usage of
retro marketing was considered to be a fad that would
likely fade away at the turn of the century (Brown,
2013). Retro marketing has been investigated in the
traditional marketing literature and deserves the same
attention in the sport management eld.
Sport management scholars have examined retro
marketing practices and nostalgia in past literature.
First, Gladden and Funk (2002) developed a team
association scale that was utilized to examine how
impactful numerous associations of an individual’s
favorite team were. e scholars found nostalgia was a
central brand association among sport consumers and
they attempted to determine how memories of their
favorite team impacted their fandom. e idea that
teams and leagues may try to create nostalgic feelings
within their fan base makes sense and is supported by
Funk and James (2006), where they found nostalgia to
be one of the associations most related to allegiance in
fans. Another scale was developed to measure brand
associations with professional sport teams and this one
included team history as an association (Ross et al.,
2006). Bauer et al. (2008) created a model to examine
which aspects of brand image impacted fan loyalty
and treated nostalgia as an experiential benet. While
none of the aforementioned work centered on retro
marketing practices, it is evident that nostalgia and
team history play a vital role in sport team branding
Seifried and Meyer (2010) examined NFL and MLB
stadiums and concluded “that sport facilities hosted
attempts to create nostalgia related feelings by oering
structures within the building which mythologize the
past through the promotion of past heroic achieve-
ments and the embracing of authentic values (i.e.,
hall of fame, museum, monuments, statues, produced
videos)” (p. 69). Other studies have found that nos-
talgia plays a role in sport heritage overall (Ramshaw
& Gammon, 2005) and that it was the main element
behind the experience of an extreme traveling Austra-
lian Football League fan club (Fairley, 2003). Much like
the sport management literature, Gordon (2013) noted
that nostalgia was an under researched aspect of sport
tourism and that nostalgia may be vitally important
to a sport fan’s attraction to these sites. Scholars have
also created an in-depth model for nostalgia in the
sport tourism domain that distinguished sport from
traditional venues (Cho, Ramshaw, & Norman, 2014).
is model classied nostalgia around sport tourism
into four segments (experience, socialization, personal
identity, group identity) and expressed the importance
of each type of experience as well as suggested a great
deal of future research. Additionally, Stride, Wilson,
and omas (2013) examined statues associated with
the European Football teams and found that one of
the primary motivations behind constructing these
statues was to evoke nostalgia in their fans. From an
examination of the related literature and organiza-
tional practices in the realm of retro marketing, retro
marketing in sport can be dened as a strategic sport
marketing practice that connects consumers with a
former historical era, oentimes connected to their
team or league’s past.
e authors utilized a general inductive approach,
as the conceptual framework was not created from a
preconceived theory but rather from the numerous
practical examples in sport and construed into a
model (omas, 2006). A general inductive approach
is eective at taking raw data, grouping it by similar-
ities, and developing a framework that structures the
raw data (omas, 2006). us, an inductive approach
was deemed appropriate given the bevy of dierent
strategic retro marketing practices utilized by sport
organizations and the lack of an existing framework
to classify the practices. e authors searched for and
examined numerous examples of retro marketing in
sport and categorized them into broad groups. en,
aer further examination, they created subgroups for
each (omas, 2006). To uncover practical examples of
retro marketing in sport, the authors utilized a bevy of
resources, including academic literature and industry
examples. is included an extensive search of relevant
academic articles throughout Google Scholar, general
google searches, examined numerous sport websites
scoured the various public communication outlets
(websites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) of pro-
fessional (primarily NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, and
English Premier League teams) and collegiate (primar-
ily Division I, FBS schools), and examined Twitter for
examples. Using these databases, the authors utilized
terms such as “retro,” “throwback,” “retro promotion,”
“hall of fame,” and “historical” to guide their initial
collection of retro examples.
In the following section, the authors have detailed
what they discovered when examining retro marketing
in sport through a general inductive approach. is
examination led the authors to the ve practical areas
of retro marketing in sport (see Figure 1). Aligning
with the authors’ methodological approach, the
following section is broken down into each theme. For
each theme, a general description of each marketing
Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly 201
practice is provided. Further, numerous practical ex-
amples of how retro marketing is utilized in the overall
marketing practice is detailed. e ve practical areas
that emerged from the analysis are: imagery, merchan-
dising, venue, gameday promotion, and advertising.
Five Practical Areas of Retro Marketing in
Sport marketing practitioners utilize retro marketing
in their imagery in multiple ways, primarily utilizing
throwback uniforms and in-brand redesigns. As brand
imagery can be one of the most prevalent features in
a consumer’s overall perception and opinion of the
brand, it is reasonable that retro marketing is utilized
in imagery (Park, Eisingerich, Pol, & Park, 2013). e
most simple and heavily implemented way is when
teams and leagues introduce throwback uniforms,
names, or courts during their games. Numerous teams
have employed throwback jerseys including the Green
Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins during the 2015 NFL
season (Lukas, 2015), the Golden State Warriors and
Sacramento Kings in the NBA, who utilized a throw-
back court along with a throwback jersey during the
2015–2016 season (#FlashbackFriday games and nal
regular season home game, 2016; Whitaker, 2015),
and by the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates of
the MLB, who used throwback jerseys throughout the
2016 season (McGuire, 2016; Snyder, 2016a). Before
the 2016 season, the University of Miami football
team had a launch party for their “Legend of the U”
throwback jerseys, which were a tribute to the jerseys
the team wore in the 1980s (Ducey, 2016). For the
2017–2018 season, Liverpool of the English Premier
League featured an orange alternate jersey considered
a throwback to their 2000–2001 season, and the
Tottenham Hotspurs slightly altered their logo to
resemble the one they used from the late 1950s until
the early 1980s (“Premier league kits,” 2017). e usage
of throwback jerseys has been extensive in professional
sports as of late and includes leagues’ usage of retro
marketing. In 2013, the NBA had adidas unveil seven
throwback jerseys as a part of their Hardwood Classics
series (Young, 2013). Beyond temporarily using retro
aspects in uniforms, logos, and courts, teams have
incorporated retro into their logo and jersey redesigns.
As many teams are oen redesigning their imagery,
for numerous reasons, some have relied on retro mar-
keting factors in the process. Two examples include
the previously mentioned redesigns by the Golden
State Warriors and the Toronto Maple Leafs. When
the Warriors conducted a redesign of their logo and
uniforms in 2010, they went back to a color scheme
that they had not used since 1997 and created a pri-
mary logo that was similar to the logo they used from
1966–1971. e Warriors Team President explained
how the redesign was using retro elements: “is new
logo pays homage to our organization’s rich history,
and unique standing in the Bay Area sports communi-
ty” (“Golden State Warriors Unveil New Logo,” 2010,
Figure 1. Five Practical Areas of Retro Marketing in Sport
Five Practical Areas of Retro Marketing in Sport
tric sport
• Team retro
Ven ue
• Team hall of
• Elements in
traditional ads
202 Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly
para. 3). Another team who made changes to their
logo and uniforms with retro marketing in mind was
the Toronto Maple Leafs. e Maple Leafs redesigned
their logo for the 2016–2017 season that was incred-
ibly similar to their logo from the 1963–1967 season.
Specically, the new Maple Leaf’s logo had 17 veins to
mark their inaugural season (19171918), 31 points to
represent the 1931 season when they won the Stanley
cup and opened the Old Maple Leaf Gardens, and the
top half of the leaf had 13 veins to represent the teams
13 Stanley Cup victories, all of which pay homage to
their history and past success (Creamer, 2016). e
Maple Leafs and Warriors are great examples of teams
who have ingrained retro aspects into their logo and
uniform redesign, and this reliance on retro elements
for the team’s logo and jersey redesign add credence
to the importance of retro marketing in sport. e
authors have deemed throwback jerseys and logo and
jersey redesigns utilizing retro marketing elements as
ways that sport teams and leagues use retro marketing
in their imagery. A sport marketing activity that oen
implements retro imagery is merchandising, as teams
and leagues sell a great deal of merchandise with retro
marketing in mind.
In 2005, sportswear sales were estimated to be 61
billion dollars in the United States, making merchan-
dising a great avenue for sport marketers to implement
retro (Chi & Kildu, 2011). With the inux of retro
marketing in general business and sport, there have
been companies created simply on the concept of retro
branding. Mitchell & Ness and Ebbets Field Flannels
are two prominent and successful retro apparel
companies and a great deal of their products are sports
apparel (“About us”, n.d.; “Our story”, n.d.). ere may
have been a true “nostalgia boom” as past scholars
have suggested if you consider Mitchell & Ness and
their meteoric rise in sales over a small two-year win-
dow between 2000 and 2002, as they saw an increase
from $2.8 million to $25 million in sales (Century,
2003). In fact, by 2000, all four of the major sport
leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL) had granted
Mitchell & Ness licenses to create merchandise lines
and produce their ocial retro jerseys (Our story,
n.d.). As companies are striving and existing through
retro brands alone, it is no surprise teams and leagues
are also heavily invested in promoting and selling their
retro merchandise.
Sport leagues and teams are promoting a great deal
of retro merchandise through their online sales de-
partments. e Green Bay Packers have a “throwback”
section of jerseys for which Mitchell & Ness is one
of their two featured brands (“Green Bay”, n.d.). e
New York Rangers have a similar throwback section
on the NHL shop (“New York”, n.d.). Additionally, an
ocial soccer jersey supplier that features teams from
the English Premier League contains a section that
is called retro soccer gear (Retro Soccer Gear, n.d.).
Merchandising diers from teams utilizing throwback
uniforms in the sense that these are items available for
purchase by consumers and not necessarily worn by
players. A team may very well use the same throwback
jersey to change their imagery by having their team
wear it and in their merchandising as they sell it to
fans, but it is the action involved with the jersey (team
wearing it or selling to consumer) that dierentiates
the two. Because merchandising generates a signicant
amount of money for these teams and leagues (Liu,
2011), and it is apparent that teams and leagues are
using retro marketing in their merchandising practic-
es, it must be included in the practical areas of retro
marketing in sport. Another eective area of retro
marketing that has been utilized in sport involves the
physical space that the team plays in.
e physical space that an organization oers in the
service industry can be very inuential on the con-
sumers (Bitner, 1992; Wakeeld & Blodgett, 1994), and
for sport teams, the physical space falls within their
venue. Many teams are using aspects of their stadium
or arena to promote their past and remember the
successes they have had. Over the last few years, many
NFL teams have begun to add historical displays or
even their own hall of fames to their stadiums (Belson,
2014). In 2012, the Green Bay Packers had their one
millionth visitor to their Packers Hall of Fame Muse-
um, which has been a part of their stadium, Lambeau
Field, since 2003. e Packers were the rst to have
their own hall of fame museum, but many teams have
begun to follow suit (Belson, 2014). e concept of
hall of fames extends beyond the United States to the
Australian Football League that in 1996 began their
league hall of fame, which consisted of 251 members
by 2014. rough other historical displays, many
teams remember their past players, sometimes using
a ring of honor like the Washington Nationals and
Vancouver Canucks (“Frank Howard to be inducted,”
2016; Sta Writer, 2016) or by retiring numbers and
displaying them around the stadium or arena as the
Boston Celtics, who have retired 21 jersey numbers
(“Should Boston Celtics un-retire,” 2015), and the
Duke basketball team have (“Duke to retire,” 2007).
Another prominent historical display that teams
utilized to celebrate past success is with statues of
players and coaches around their stadiums. In 2017,
the Cincinnati Reds honored Pete Rose with a statue
Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly 203
outside of Great American Ballpark, making him the
eighth past star to be honored that way (Associated
Press, 2017) and English Premier League power house
Arsenal has ve statues honoring 3 past players, 1
manager, and even 1 vital member of their sta (“Five
statues of Arsenal Legends,” 2017). Another way that
many teams utilize retro marketing in their venue
is by putting banners up commemorating past team
successes, whether that’s winning the division, confer-
ence, or championship. When teams utilize a ring of
honor, hang retired jersey numbers, or put up statues
of past greats, they are celebrating the success of their
past players as well as the heritage of their brands, and
many teams are using this form of retro marketing at
their venues. e immense usage of retro marketing in
and around teams’ venues created this practical area.
e fourth practical area considered the promotions
during games.
Gameday Promotion
Teams utilize retro marketing in their promotions
in a few dierent ways. e rst way is very simple
and involves using retro marketing in their gameday
giveaways; the items given away can vary greatly.
e Georgetown basketball team gave away a bobble
head of former great Allen Iverson at a game in the
2016–2017 season (Chippin, 2016) and the Phoenix
Suns gave away a tank top with their retro logo at one
game during the 2016–2017 season (Emerick, 2016).
During the 2016 MLB season, the Cleveland Indians
gave away a retro jersey, the Philadelphia Phillies gave
away retro socks, the Reds gave away a bobble head of
recent Hall of Famer Ken Griey Jr., and the Dodgers
gave away hall of fame pins to celebrate their past
hall of famers, and this is just a sampling of the retro
giveaways in the MLB (Snyder, 2016b). In addition to
celebrating the past with a giveaway, teams oen opt
to celebrate the past during a specic game or games
throughout a season.
Teams utilize retro marketing by celebrating their
past through a promotional night or specic game.
Teams can do this by having a special game to cele-
brate the anniversary of a championship as the Port-
land Trailblazers did. For one game in the 2016–2017
season, the Trail Blazers brought back members of
their championship team from 40 years ago and of-
fered an autograph session and photo opportunity for
fans as well as had an on-court tribute to the champi-
onship team during half time (“Trail Blazers ashback
to 1977,” 2017). Another type of promotional night
that teams oen participate in is called turn back the
clock night, ranging from the Seattle Mariners to the
Eau Claire Express, a summer collegiate team (“Ex-
press Announce,” 2015; Young, 2016). For turn back
the clock nights, teams will oen wear retro uniforms,
sell retro merchandise to the fans, and encourage fans
to dress like the era being celebrated. Some teams have
brought retro pricing into their promotional games as
well, including the Detroit Lions, who did retro prices
on their concessions in the 2016 season and the Kansas
City Royals, who oered retro pricing days on their
tickets during the 2009 season (“Royals Retro Pricing;
“Detroit Lions to,” 2016). Numerous teams are incor-
porating retro aspects into many of their gameday pro-
motions, primarily with their giveaways and events.
e last practical area that the authors discovered was
e correct advertising message can communicate
information about a team, develop or change its image,
create an association of emotions, and eventually
precipitate behavior of consumers (Mullin et al., 2014).
Further, sport marketers have successfully imple-
mented retro into their overall marketing plans and
more specically, into the content of their advertising
messages. ere are two primary ways that teams
implement retro marketing into their advertising
campaigns. e rst involves including aspects of
their past in a normal advertising campaign or any
of their traditional advertisements, and the second is
when leagues or teams create an advertising campaign
celebrating a milestone. Teams can draw on their past
in general advertising campaigns; one example is the
Phoenix Suns with their #WeArePHX campaign, as
they focus on their connection to the valley since 1968
(Fincher, 2015) and promoted inducting Steve Nash
into their Ring of Honor (Sara, 2016). Another exam-
ple is the Boston Celtics who put out a short ad that
promoted past legends Larry Bird and Robert Parrish
as well as paid homage to their 17 NBA championships
(JR, 2012). e leagues are also able to get involved in
retro advertising, as the NBA did when they opened
their 2011–2012 season with an ad called “NBA
Forever” on TNT that mashed up highlights of current
and former players to make it appear as if they were
playing together (Klopman, 2011). Additionally, the
Maple Leafs are one of the original six teams, which
means they are celebrating their 100th year in con-
junction with the founding of the NHL. is leads to
the second way teams have been using retro marketing
in advertising.
Many teams and leagues have created advertising
campaigns focused on anniversaries—lately many
have celebrated their centennial. e Chicago Cubs
celebrated 100 years at Wrigley throughout the 2016
season (Neveau, 2015), the Pac-12 celebrated their
centennial in 2015 (“100 years of champions,” n.d), the
204 Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly
NHL and Toronto Maple Leafs both celebrated their
centennial during the 2016–2017 NHL season (Mirtle,
2016; NHL Public Relations, 2016), and in 2013 US
Soccer celebrated their centennial (Bell, 2013). ere
are numerous ways that these teams and leagues have
celebrated their milestones. e Toronto Maple Leafs
used an advertising campaign called “Stand Witness”
that included multiple social media campaigns and
a short advertisement that follows an elderly man
watching old clips of the team winning championships
in the 1960s (Mirtle, 2016). e Pac-12 advertised their
centennial with the 100 years of champions campaign
that included creating all-century teams and many
centennial centered videos (“100 years of champions,”
n.d). In a related fashion, US Soccer had a centennial
week that they celebrated in New York where they
originally were headquartered and promoted their
milestone with a #100Years hashtag on Twitter (Bell,
2013). Celebrating milestones has become a very pop-
ular way for teams and leagues to use retro marketing.
When utilizing retro marketing in their advertising
campaigns, teams are likely tapping into the nostalgic
feelings of their consumers, which has been found to
be eective in marketing (Pascal et al., 2002; Sierra
& McQuitty, 2007). Advertising completes the ve
practical areas of retro marketing in sport as it covers
the remaining utilizations of retro marketing in sport.
Discussion and Directions for Future
Scholars should be able to rely on this framework and
use it in their empirical research on retro marketing
in sport. e authors believe this study should be the
rst step in a long line of research on retro marketing
in sport and have suggested the following avenues for
future research, tailored to the importance of continu-
ing this research in the sport management literature.
Retro Marketing and Sport Organizations
e authors have detailed many of the ways in which
teams and leagues utilize retro marketing and future
scholars should research how and why these sport
organizations choose retro options. One study exam-
ined fans’ feelings about logo redesign for two NBA
teams, the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors,
and found highly identied fans were less accepting
of logo redesigns than low or moderately identied
fans (Ahn, Shu, Lee, & Pederson, 2012). Despite the
negative attitude towards a redesign, highly identied
fans purchase intentions signicantly increased with
the new logo (Ahn et al., 2012). e idea that a fan
may have a negative attitude about a new logo yet have
an increased desire to purchase merchandise may
show how strong their connection to the team truly
is. Further, this particular study did not focus on the
incorporation of retro elements into a logo redesign.
erefore, this could be an added dimension to explore
that may present some further explanatory power in
understanding what drives sport consumer attitudes
and intentions. Another potential research avenue
would be the motivations behind a team selecting to
associate with their past. e Golden State Warriors
are a great example of a team who used a great deal
of retro elements in their logo and jersey redesign,
but in Ahn et al.’s (2012) study the fans had a negative
attitude towards the change. A qualitative study
with the sport marketing decision-makers would be
helpful to garner an understanding of the how and
why behind teams and leagues utilization of retro
marketing. ese studies should be conducted with
marketers of teams who are responsible for developing
and implementing retro marketing strategies, with
those individuals involved in merchandise decisions at
the league level (i.e., those who work with Nike in the
NFL or adidas in the NHL), and with apparel compa-
nies, especially those whose core business are centered
around retro (i.e., Mitchell and Ness), as they will have
the greatest insights into retro marketing practices in
sport. Further, some boundary conditions could be
established regarding when it is best to incorporate
retro elements into a logo or uniform redesign. It
will be interesting to compare teams with dierent
backgrounds of success, diering market sizes, and
past logo and jersey designs in regards to their retro
marketing usage and success.
When it comes to imagery, merchandising, gameday
promotions, and advertising, teams must be selective
of when and where to use retro marketing; it may
be dependent upon their history and past decisions.
erefore, a line of inquiry could operationalize a bevy
of organizational characteristics (sport level, market
size, presence/lack of historic success, logo/brand
history, conference/division) and link these character-
istics to the retro marketing strategy and tactics. Iron-
ically, some of the most historically successful teams
(Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, and Chicago
Blackhawks) have gone through minimal jersey and
logo changes and therefore should have fewer retro
marketing avenues at their disposal. Conversely, teams
like the San Diego Padres have undergone multiple
changes to their primary and alternate logos over
the course of their history and utilize these “retired”
logos in their retro marketing eorts in multiple ways.
Examining what this means for an organization will
likely be meaningful for this eld of research and help
decipher whether teams with a past historic success
or teams who have simply changed their logos and
Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly 205
uniforms more oen have greater retro marketing
potential. Also, it will be interesting to learn which
type of team, historically successful or multiple
redesigns, relies on retro more heavily. ere are many
ways that teams and leagues choose to utilize retro
marketing and it is impacted by not only the success of
the organization, but the past choices they have made.
e most interesting practical area that teams may
use retro marketing in is the venue, as the decisions
regarding what is worthy of being marketed vary from
team to team. Much of the variation in the utilization
of retro marketing in venue has to do with the team’s
past success. e Boston Celtics have retired so many
numbers for their past greats that they almost need
to un-retire numbers to hold a team (“Should Boston
Celtics un-retire,” 2015), whereas the Miami Heat have
a Michael Jordan Bulls jersey up in their raers and
the Colts have an “AFC Finalist” banner up (Hurley,
2015). Each team has a specic venue and can make
unique choices with what type of historical displays
and types of retro marketing they can put up around
the venue. Further, the venue itself may act as a retro
marketing tool dependent upon the age of the facil-
ity, design features, and event history. For example,
Camden Yards, opened in 1992, aunts a design that
incorporates modern amenities into a facility that is
meant to appear as though it was built during a prior
era, bucking the trend of facility design at the time
(Kamin, 2017). Interviewing sport practitioners who
operate and make marketing decisions in facilities that
t the description above could lend some insight into
not only how they try to capitalize on retro marketing
in their facility but also the challenges they face due to
facility limitations.
As sport leagues grow in success and popularity they
expand and create new teams quite oen, and these
teams do not have many retro marketing avenues.
Despite the lack of history, some relatively young
sport teams have introduced “retro” material to their
organization. e previously mentioned Toronto
Raptors entered the NBA in 1995, and although they
have been through a major logo and uniform redesign
they utilized Toronto Huskies imagery for multiple
games this past season (Dator, 2017). What is unique
about the Raptors usage is they have no connection to
the Toronto Huskies, as the Huskies were a one year
member of a basketball league that was around before
the NBA. Similarly, the Tampa Bay Rays have been
engaging in retro marketing tactics with the incor-
poration of “fauxback” uniforms and imagery. Given
their lack of extensive history in the MLB, the Rays
have endeavored to manufacture nostalgic feelings
among their fan base by utilizing uniforms that have
a 1970s-era appearance even though the club did
not exist (Hill, 2017; Knapel, 2012). e Jacksonville
Jaguars sell “vintage” merchandise through the NFL
shop, yet they were established in 1995 (“Jacksonville
Jaguars”, n.d.). Some may argue that the previous
examples are not retro because the teams do not have
enough of a past, but these organizations still rely on
retro practices and to discover what makes something
retro, scholars must examine the consumers.
Retro Marketing and Sport Consumers
Beyond just establishing the general eectiveness of
retro marketing practices, it is useful to determine
which practical areas are the most and least eective.
Additionally, this research will likely be most useful
to sport practitioners, as it should have numerous
practical implications for the eld. is is one area
that sport management scholars can not only adapt
from the general marketing literature as much of the
empirical research could be borrowed from past retro
marketing scholars, but the opportunity also exists to
understand how retro marketing may operate dier-
ently in the sport realm and build sport-specic theory
(Doherty, 2013).
A majority of research on retro marketing has
focused on the impact of nostalgia in advertising.
Scholars have discovered that nostalgia can evoke
positive emotions and intentions, but also that brands
must update the material and not simply revive an old
brand (Cattaneo & Guerini, 2012; Pascal et al., 2002;
Phau & Marchegiani, 2011; Sierra & McQuitty, 2007).
When it comes to sport, there are many other avenues
scholars can examine. e extreme passion and team
identication that make sport consumers unique could
make nostalgic feelings more prominent (Coakley,
2007). Sierra and McQuitty (2007) discovered that in-
dividuals who had favorable feelings about their group
memberships were susceptible to nostalgic feelings.
Further, these scholars suggested sport franchises were
a venue that could easily draw on their consumer’s
nostalgia proneness. Sport management scholars have
treated nostalgia or team history as a prominent brand
association (Bauer et al., 2008; Funk & James, 2006;
Ross et al., 2006) and if nostalgia is an aspect sport
consumers consider when following their favorite
team, it is likely instrumental in sport marketing.
Sport consumers’ extreme passion and team identica-
tion may impact nostalgic feelings.
Given this distinct psychological connection,
nostalgia’s impact on sport consumers may manifest
itself dierently than in the general marketing context.
erefore, nostalgia will likely be inuential in sport
and could be examined through all ve of the practical
areas and compared. As nostalgia is a yearning for
206 Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly
the past and can impact consumers cognitive and
emotional factors related to the past (Holbrook, 1993;
Sierra & McQuitty, 2007), any retro marketing should
make a point of connecting the fans to the past. Using
past imagery in a redesign or merchandise will con-
nect fans to the past, and putting up banners around
the venue will remind fans of the teams past success.
Teams can also use past players with a bobble head
giveaway or in an advertisement, which should remind
their fans of when that player was a part of the team.
Nostalgia’s impact should be empirically examined
through all practical areas whereas the lived history
that a team presents may create more ways for nostal-
gia to be impactful.
To examine sport consumers’ reactions to retro
marketing, there are numerous theoretical frame-
works that could be utilized. As discussed earlier,
S-O-R theory is eective because retro marketing is
impacting the stimuli and examining sport consum-
ers’ response to these stimuli would be important in
measuring the eectiveness of these practices. Another
way to examine consumers and the inuence of retro
marketing may be via sport fan classications such
as the Psychological Continuum Model (Funk &
James, 2001) or the conceptual classication of sport
fans (Hunt, Bristol, & Bashaw, 1999). Both of these
frameworks distinguished fans based on their level of
psychological connectedness to the team and it would
prove interesting to examine how dierent types of
fans react to each of the ve practical areas of retro
marketing in sport.
Additionally, it would be useful to examine sport
consumers, retro marketing, and socialization into
fandom. ere may be a connection between how
one is socialized into fandom and the way retro
marketing practices impact them. Scholars have found
that fathers and one’s hometown are two factors that
were prevalent in socializing an individual into their
fandom (James & Kolbe, 2000). James (2001) found
that children as young as ve years old may be able
to cognitively display commitment to a sport team.
ese factors, the conditions by which and when one
becomes a fan, along with how long an individual
has been a fan, may prove worthwhile to examine
regarding the impact of retro marketing. One may
expect that a lifelong fan would be more impacted by
nostalgic feelings than an adult who recently became
a fan of the same team. When considering the impact
of nostalgia on retro marketing in sport, the way in
which one is socialized into becoming a fan may be
very inuential on the impact of retro marketing
A sport team has an impact on consumers that
other brands cannot oer and that is the concept of
the lived experience fans receive through being a fan
of a team. Sport teams are constantly changing unlike
typical brands; the prestige and favor, or brand equity,
of a team relies, in part, upon the uncontrollable on
eld success or failure (DeSensi & Rosenberg, 2010).
Conversely, a traditional goods brand can control the
aspects that inuences their consumers’ brand equity
(Keller, 1993). Despite not always being old enough to
experience an era of a team, sport fans may be able to
relate to this time through vicarious nostalgia and still
look fondly on a past that they did not live through
(Merchant & Rose, 2013). As mentioned previously, the
irrational passion that fans feel towards their favorite
teams (Coakley, 2007) likely enhances nostalgia’s
impact, as they may have more memories to connect
to. Since it is critical to the eld of sport management
to conduct theory building research (Doherty, 2013)
and the research on retro marketing in sport is in its
infancy, it would be compelling to investigate if the
lived experience of sport fandom makes nostalgia even
more inuential than in traditional, mainstream retro
Another way sport scholars can expand this research
is to examine what makes something retro, as there
are many options teams use for which it would be
benecial to examine what the consumer considers to
be retro. Oen teams and leagues simply bring back
old logos or jersey designs and consider the merchan-
dise or imagery to be retro. e consumer’s perception
will be important though, especially considering a
team with a short history that wants to tap into the
retro market. One example is the Tampa Bay Rays and
the retro jersey they claimed was from a time period
nearly twenty years prior to when their team formed
(Knapel, 2012). It is unknown whether consumers
consider this faux retro example to actually be retro. If
scholars can discover what makes something retro to
the consumer, along with what aspects of retro evoke
the most positive feelings or even change behavior
the most, practitioners could benet a great deal
from the research. e last direction that scholars
could take would assist in deciphering consumers’
feelings towards retro branding by creating a type of
Additionally, it would be benecial to examine how
eective various retro marketing practices are and
relatedly, to understand the degree to which retro is
incorporated into various specic marketing tactics
across organizations. Ideally, this avenue of research
would require the construction of a scale that assesses
the “retroness” of a marketing oering. Engaging in
Volume 27 • Number 3 • 2018 • Sport Marketing Quarterly 207
focus groups or in-depth interviews with sport con-
sumers, specically comparing consumers of dierent
ages, levels of team identication, and attachment to
their teams, to uncover what makes something retro
and creating items for a measurement scale could be
a signicant addition to the body of knowledge. e
scale could assess each practical area as there would be
dierent aspects to examine for the ve areas. Imagery
would need to examine the color scheme and lettering,
among other aspects, and merchandising would be ex-
tremely similar but could also examine the packaging
and actual material if it is a purchased piece of apparel.
Venue would consider the types of banners put up as
well as the aims and usage of a hall of fame or ring of
honor. e gameday promotions could examine the
main purpose of the promotion, as well as the similar
aspects of imagery. Last, the advertising aspects could
consider the time they are referencing and if it is a
successful time, among other aspects. From there,
this scale could be connected to consumer’ attitudes,
emotions, and even behavior to determine how retro
marketing impacts the individual sport consumer.
Creating a way to measure retro would be helpful to
quantify the impact that it has on consumers. Another
reason a measurement would benet this research
would be to determine if "faux” retro like the Tampa
Bay Rays used is considered retro and impacts the
consumer the same as traditional retro marketing
(Knapel, 2012). It will be interesting to discover if sport
teams can eectively use retro marketing without hav-
ing a very long or successful history. A measurement
could determine if retro marketing in sport hinges
more on the aspects of the practice or the cognitive
connection fans have with the past of their favorite
teams and leagues. is scale would also be benecial
in examining what impact retro marketing may have
on the attitudes, identication, purchase intentions,
and actual behaviors of the fans. Retro marketing
scholars have focused on the impact that nostalgia has
on advertisements (Muehling & Sprott, 2004; Pascal et
al., 2002; Phau & Marchegiani, 2011) and the consum-
ers’ attitudes towards nostalgic products (Brown et
al., 2003; Sierra & McQuitty, 2007). Retro marketing
has been found, especially via nostalgic impact, to be
a successful marketing tool, and the numerous outlets
sport oers for retro marketing should expand the
research on retro marketing and consumer behavior.
As the rst attempt at categorizing retro
marketing in sport, this studys purpose was not only
to create a model that explained and categorized the
retro marketing practices utilized in sport, but also to
establish a potential line of research on the topic. e
authors have presented the ve practical areas of retro
marketing in sport through an inductive approach that
led to the categories: imagery, merchandising, venue,
gameday promotions, and advertising. Additionally,
the authors have presented many directions for future
research on retro marketing in sport. Sport is an
incredibly unique eld and must be examined as such.
As teams and leagues rely heavily on retro marketing,
scholars should begin to empirically examine how
retro marketing impacts sport. e ve practical areas
of retro marketing in sport should be used as the
foundation and guide for future research in this eld.
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... The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: one's logo to pay homage to their past (Warriors, 76ers of the NBA, Rams of the National Football League [NFL] and Astros of Major League Baseball [MLB]), the rise of brands such as Mitchell and Ness who sell retro sport merchandise and promotional nights like Nickelodeon night, 80s nights, or turn back the clock nights. Retro marketing in sport has become commonplace (Scola and Gordon, 2018) and sport marketers suggest it has been successful partially due to feelings of nostalgia (Scola and Gordon, 2019). Scholars have begun to examine traits of sport fans who prefer retro logos (Scola et al., 2022) and how nostalgia may play a role in purchase intentions of team sponsor's products (Cho et al., 2021), however, there has been scant examination of effective nostalgia measures towards team branded merchandise. ...
... It has often been used in retail settings (Sherman et al., 1997) and has been utilized to explore a nostalgic setting in an online retail space (Chang et al., 2011). In the realm of sport, it has been utilized to explore the atmosphere around a major sporting event (Uhrich and Koenigstorfer, 2009), to contextualize retro marketing practices in sport (Scola and Gordon, 2018), to examine the potential appeal of retro sport logos (Dwyer et al., 2020) and to attempt to examine demographic differences in sport fans who prefer retro logos (Scola et al., 2022). ...
... Additionally, the findings build upon what we know about retro marketing and the S-O-R framework (Dwyer et al., 2020;Scola and Gordon, 2018). Our two-prompt manipulation was similar to Dwyer et al. (2020) and Scola et al.'s (2022) retro marketing in sport studies; however, the inclusion of CBN as a vital organismic factor examined the mediating impact of past experiences on purchase intentions. ...
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Purpose The authors sought to examine how nostalgic feelings influenced purchase intentions of sport fans towards branded merchandise. Additionally, the goal was to test the childhood brand nostalgia (CBN) scale to see if it was an effective measure in this context. This was an important early step in understanding the way nostalgia may influence sport fan's merchandise preferences. Design/methodology/approach Surveys were completed by 601 fans of two professional sport teams in the USA. These consumers were targeted geographically through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and half given a modern branded t-shirt and the other half a retro branded t-shirt. To examine brand nostalgia in this context, the CBN measure was evaluated and examined to see its impact on each group, using hierarchical regressions. Findings The results demonstrated that CBN positively impacted consumers purchase intentions in the retro logoed t-shirt group. However, in the modern logoed t-shirt group, CBN did not significantly influence purchase intentions. Practical implications The findings of this study suggest that retro merchandise is working as expected, as it is attractive to those who feel nostalgic about their team. Secondarily, this study's findings suggest it may be vital for marketers to be conscious that their retro materials are connecting to the past. Originality/value This study was an early examination of a measure of nostalgia and its impact on purchase intentions in sport. The findings suggested that this CBN instrument may be appropriate in retro marketing research, especially regarding sport merchandise. Further, the findings suggest that nostalgic feelings may be influential toward retro merchandise, but not modern merchandise.
... Other tactics include directly celebrating the past, such as National Football League (NFL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football teams celebrating their 100 th and 150 th seasons, respectively, in 2019, or the hundreds of ballparks having turn back the clock nights across the country. Regardless of the strategy, retro marketing is commonplace throughout North American sport (Scola & Gordon, 2018;. ...
... This study was developed around the well-established Stimulus-Organism-Response framework (S-O-R). This framework has been used in multiple retro marketing in sport studies, including Scola and Gordon (2018) and Dwyer et al. (2020). The S-O-R framework includes: the stimulus, as the aspect marketers can influence (i.e., logo on merchandise), the organism, as the characteristics that make up the individual (i.e., demographics, team identification, etc.), and the response, as the specific attitude or behavior which occurs (i.e., purchase intention, actual selection of product) (Vieira, 2013). ...
... With sport marketing, scholars have categorized retro marketing into five distinct areas: imagery, merchandising, venue, gameday promotions, and advertising (Scola & Gordon, 2018). Additionally, it was discovered that sport marketers found retro marketing to not only be successful, but also important to their brands (Scola & Gordon, 2019). ...
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Retro marketing in sport has been relied upon for years. Sport fans see more teams and leagues implement retro marketing and merchandise into marketing plans. Despite this, we have little understanding behind the success of retro marketing in sport. Therefore, this paper sought to gain a better understanding of the demographic characteristics of retro merchandise consumers and to examine the impact of two psychographic factors. Surveys collected from fans of various professional sport teams in the United States (N = 1,509), demonstrated novel findings. In this study retro merchandise was preferred overall, younger fans were more likely to prefer retro merchandise, and household income did not explain much of the preference. Most telling was that nostalgic proneness significantly and positively predicted a retro preference. The implications from this study should guide marketers in their usage of retro merchandise and marketing practices and lead to future practical research on the topic.
... e rst is nostalgia; teams return to their roots by embracing brand associations highlighting tradition and heritage (cf. Scola & Gordon, 2018). e second is regional pride; teams may want to emphasize the connection to their place of play. ...
... Following the pretest and a review of relevant literature cited above (e.g., Gladden & Funk, 2002;Easter et al., 2008;Kunkel et al., 2016;Ross et al., 2006;Scola & Gordon, 2018;Trail et al., 2003;Williams et al., 2021), the following six brand associations were chosen for inclusion in this study: colors, team nickname, logo, uniform styling, team traditions, and local community integration. ese brand associations were also limited to those that would apply across contexts and would not be limited the Washington Football Team fan base. ...
Using the context of the Washington Football Team, the current study examined the importance of six brand associations (team colors, community integration, culture/traditions, nickname, logo, uniform style) on fan attitudes toward a revolutionary rebrand. Data were collected from 669 Washington Football Team fans through an online questionnaire. A rating-based conjoint analysis was used to test for the relative influence of each brand association on brand desirability and rejection. Separate analyses were conducted based on respondent geographic location, existing attitudes toward the name change, and level of passion for the team. Across all analyses, team color scheme was at least three times more important than any other association. Findings suggest respondents are more likely to view the revolutionary rebrand favorably if the team keeps its existing color scheme. Conversely, brand friction is likely to occur should the color scheme change, as fans continue to wear merchandise associated with the brand prerevolution.
... In recent years, it has been a growing trend for professional sport teams to try new strategies to connect with fans (Dees et al., 2021;O'Reilly et al., 2022). From sonic branding, using music and auditory sensory marketing to resonate with consumers (Ballouli & Heere, 2015) to retro marketing, ploys that harness nostalgic principles to connect the present with "the old days" (Scola & Gordon, 2018), and even digital tools like social media that galvanize segments not just in a small locale but extending to consumer pockets all over the world (Naraine, 2019), professional sport operations are not bereft of the new and the innovative as it pertains to marketing their core product off ering. ...
... For some, that might result in harnessing the power of music and the emotive threads that can be drawn from sound (Ballouli & Heere, 2015). For others, it is making what was old, new again (Scola & Gordon, 2018). But, certainly, a tactic with growing traction alongside sonic and retro marketing is canine marketing. ...
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A recent cause-related marketing (CRM) trend for sport organizations has been to adopt a service dog that they will train and showcase through social media and at team events. This phenomenon is unique as these teams are utilizing the dog as a brand association but through a charitable lens in that they are providing resources to train the dog and giving exposure to a good cause. This study examines the consumer behavior implications, specifically brand image, perceived altruism, and purchase intentions, of sport organizations adopting service dogs. Through an experimental design, this study introduces an emerging factor in sport CRM and suggests the level of the consumer’s awareness of the CRM initiative impacts consumer’s image of the brand, perceived altruism, and purchase intentions. This article furthers our conceptual understanding of CRM and provides practical implications for sport organizations looking to adopt this strategy.
... Furthermore, these possessions enable consumers to connect with their personal and family history, express their values and emotions, and differentiate themselves from others (Patrick et al., 2020). Licensed products, specifically throwback items, are central to the execution of retro marketing strategies by sport properties, and can satisfy sport consumers' feelings of nostalgia and their desire to reconnect with the past (Scola et al., 2022;Scola & Gordon, 2018). In their study on merchandise sales at a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, Andrew et al. (2009) found that consumers' sense of achievement and pride when their favorite fighter performs well ("vicarious achievement"), their desire to learn more about MMA ("knowledge"), and the energy and excitement levels of the crowd ("crowd experience") were significant drivers of merchandise purchases for male attendees. ...
... Being low in brand relevance likely equates to poor performance, unethical behaviors, or even perceived tanking (Jang et al., 2020;Aiken et al., 2020). The reasons for holding Rescue Dogs likely revolve around loyalty (Funk and James, 2006), psychological commitment to team (Mahony, et al., 2000), identification (Wann and Branscombe, 1993), sentiment (Jensen, et al., 2018), nostalgia (Scola and Gordon, 2018), perceived values congruence (Bee and Kahle, 2006), social affiliations (Aiken and Koch, 2009), in-group bias (Jang, et al., 2020), and even geography (Reifurth, et al., 2019). In the case of Rescue Dogs, the foremost fan behavior is likely to be BIRFing since the need to signal loyalty to others is strong (Aiken and Campbell, 2005). ...
... The social importance of sports stems from the natural need of people for sports activities, in which they are directed towards the perfection of mind and body (Scola, Gordon, 2018). Sports interests play a very important communicative role in society, politics and, what is important for marketing in sports, the economic sphere of human activities. ...
The Chapter aims to investigate the effects of nostalgic appeals in sports season ticket advertising (i.e., advertising aimed at promoting the sales of seasonal tickets for a sports team). Drawing on the nostalgia literature, the Chapter illustrates the results of an experimental study that advances that nostalgic advertising may exert a different effect on sports consumers’ choices (i.e., intention to purchase a season ticket and share positive word-of-mouth for the advertising) based on individuals’ current attitude toward their favorite sports team. The findings show that recalling a glorious sporting past may be the most effective strategy for persuading fans with a current negative attitude toward the team. Additionally, a nostalgic ad may prove more appealing for individuals who describe themselves as ardent fans.
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Retro ve nostalji pazarlaması, pazarlama alanında tüketicilerle etkileşime geçerek iletişim kurmanın yollarından biridir. Bu çalışma retro ve nostalji pazarlaması hakkında akademisyenler tarafından yayımlanan çalışmaların bibliyometrik olarak değerlendirilmesini amaçlamaktadır. Web of Science veri tabanları belge-arşiv tarama yöntemiyle retro pazarlama ve nostalji pazarlama konu başlığında (başlık, özet, yazarların anahtar kelimeleri, anahtar kelime bulutu-keywords plus-) yayımlanmış 204 İngilizce makaleye bibliyometrik analiz uygulanmıştır. Araştırmanın evrenini 1980-2021 yılları arası yayımlanan 204 makale oluşturmaktadır. Veriler R programı üzerinden yayın bilgisi, atıf analizi, kelime bilgisi, yazar bilgisi, ülkeler arası iş birliği olmak üzere beş başlık altında incelenmiştir. Araştırma sonuçları 1980-2021 yılları arasında retro ve nostalji pazarlaması ile ilgili Web of Science veri tabanındaki İngilizce makaleler hakkında bibliyometrik bir rapor sunmayı amaçlamaktadır. Araştırma sonuçlarının retro ve nostalji pazarlaması hakkında yapılacak araştırmalara genel kapsamlı bir rehber oluşturacağı ön görülmektedir.
COVID-19 outbreak has forced sport spectators to keep social distancing in the stadium/arena, causing economic damage to sport organizations due to a lack of matchday revenue. However, the situation would arouse sport spectators' nostalgia for their past experiences in the sporting venue. Thus, the purpose of this study was to clarify whether nostalgia for spectating sport in the stadium/arena during the pandemic differed by involvement in sport spectatorship. In December 2020, an online survey of Japanese sports spectators (n = 728) was conducted. The result of confirmatory factor analysis explained that sport spectators' experience-based nostalgia during COVID-19 was engendered from memories of their favorite teams, stadiums, and social interactions in the stadium/arena. Mann-Whitney's U tests resulted that sport spectators with higher involvement in sport spectatorship perceived nostalgia stronger than those with lower involvement. Sports teams and leagues could benefit from the knowledge during the “with-corona” period.
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Traditionally, nostalgia has been conceptualized as a medical disease and a psychiatric disorder. Instead, we argue that nostalgia is a predominantly positive, self-relevant, and social emotion serving key psychological functions. Nostalgic narratives reflect more positive than negative affect, feature the self as the protagonist, and are embedded in a social context. Nostalgia is triggered by dysphoric states such as negative mood and loneliness. Finally, nostalgia generates positive affect, increases self-esteem, fosters social connectedness, and alleviates existential threat.
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Prior research has demonstrated a direct relationship between loyalty and reasons for liking a particular sport team. The current study replicates and extends this line of inquiry by examining the mediating role of attachment, a process by which an individual moves from merely liking a team (attraction) to becoming loyal to a team (allegiance). Data (Collegiate N = 194; Collegiate and Professional N = 402, Favorite Sport Team N = 808) were collected to examine 13 benefits and attributes associated with liking a sport team, 3 attitude formation properties, and allegiance. A three-stage test of mediation using MLR revealed that attachment mediated the relationship between allegiance and Vicarious Achievement, Nostalgia, Star Player, Escape, Success, and Peer Group Acceptance. Results demonstrate that allegiance is the outcome of a process by which individuals develop stronger emotional reactions to, more functional knowledge about, and greater symbolic value for benefits and attributes associated with a sport team.
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The Team Brand Association Scale (TBAS), which is intended to measure professional sport team brand associations, was developed through the use of a free-thought listing technique in combination with a confirmatory factor analysis procedure. Information was provided by individuals regarding their favorite sports team, and 11 dimensions underlying professional sport team brand associations were identified: nonplayer personnel, team success, team history, stadium community, team play characteristics, brand mark, commitment, organizational attributes, concessions, social interaction, and rivalry. Review of the TBAS psychometric properties indicated that eight dimensions had acceptable reliabilities (Cronbach's alpha scores ranging from .76-.90), as well as content validity (verified by a 3-member expert panel review), discriminant validity (based on correlations among latent constructs and their standard errors), concurrent validity (significant correlations with an external measure), and construct validity.
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This study broadens the understanding of brand management in sport by creating the Team Association Model, a scale that identifies dimensions of brand associations, a major contributor to the creation of brand equity. Utilizing Keller's (1993) theoretical framework of consumer-based brand equity, a thorough review of the sport literature was conducted which identified 16 potential dimensions. These 16 dimensions are derived with reference to Keller's categorization of brand associations into ATTRIBUTE (success, head coach, star player, management, stadium, logo design, product delivery, and tradition), BENEFIT (identification, nostalgia, pride in place, escape, and peer group acceptance), and ATTITUDE (importance, knowledge, and affect). In order to evaluate the applicability of each potential dimension, a scale is developed, pre-tested, and tested on a national sample of sport consumers. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis of provided support for this paper's theoretical notion that 16 distinct constructs underlie brand associations in sports.
This article presents a large-scale cross-sectional field study of the effect of store environment on consumer emotions and the resulting influence on aspects of consumer behavior with actual shopping behavior used as an example. Cast into a stimulus–organism–response framework, the results suggest that a consumer's emotions can be a mediating factor in the purchase process. In this study, we identify and explore how store environment and emotional states may influence various dimensions of purchase behavior. This research confirms that although cognitive factors may largely account for store selection and for most planned purchases within the store, the environment in the store and the emotional state of consumers may be important determinants of purchase behavior. This research has many pragmatic applications, because pleasure was associated with the amount of money spent and affinity for the store, whereas arousal was associated with money spent in the store, time spent in the store, and the number of items purchased in the store. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The current study sought to identify the effect of team identification on brand attitude and purchase intention in terms of team logo changes. Doubly Multivariate Analysis of repeated measures, 2 (logo change: original and redesigned logo) × 3 (team identification: high, moderate, and low), was conducted on attitude toward the brand and purchase intention of team-logoed merchandise. The results showed that there were significant differences between fans with high identification and fans with low identification. The findings of this study can be beneficial for both sport industry practitioners and marketing scholars by providing an understanding of brand attitude and purchase intention related to new redesigned logos based upon different levels of team identification.
The concept of nostalgia is complex and difficult to measure, in part because of its diverse emotional perspectives. Various authors have attempted to classify aspects of nostalgia to further describe this phenomenon and understand its broader application. However, the nostalgia that sports fans experience, particularly in a tourist context, appears to be unique from its other types and forms. This difference is in part because the relationship between sport - and, by extension, sport-related travel - and nostalgia appears to be distinct. To address this issue, this paper provides a classification and a conceptual model to clarify the concept of nostalgia in the context of sport tourism. Specifically, this research suggests a four-way classification of nostalgia in sport tourism: (1) experience, (2) socialization, (3) personal identity, and (4) group identity. In addition, the conceptual model shows the process of the development of nostalgia by emphasizing the importance of the types of experience. The classification and model suggested in this paper are important for future empirical research to accurately measure the concept of nostalgia and to understand it in the context of sport tourism.
This project revisits the social identity brand equity (SIBE) model developed by Underwood, Bond, and Baer (2001). The model proposes that marketplace characteristics relevant to sports can be used to enhance one's social identification with a team, which is assumed to have a positive influence on a team's customer-based brand equity. The current study has two goals: (a) to provide an empirical assessment of the SIBE model in the context of professional sports and (b) assess the individual influence of the proposed marketplace characteristics on social identification. We report results of a survey of U.S. National Basketball Association fans, which provide partial support for the model. Group experience and venue were found to have the strongest influence on social identification with a team. Considerations for theoretical advancement of the model and practical application for sport brand managers are discussed.