Thursday, December 1, 2011

Brand-Choice Congruence & Sports

America is crazy about our sports, and here around Indianapolis, folks are crazy about the Colts. If you were to scan the crowd in Lucas Oil Stadium on any given Sunday, you would undoubtedly see an abundance of official replica jerseys of fan-favorite Colts: Peyton, Reggie, Dwight, and maybe even a few Austin Collies. Chances are, most, if not all of these jerseys, are manufactured by Reebok, the official supplier of the NFL.

Fans just want to wear what the players are wearing; that isn't a new concept. But more than ever before, fans are buying products from the officially-licensed brands of their favorite teams: NFL fans in Reebok, NBA fans in Adidas, Oregon athletics fans in Nike, and Maryland athletics fans in Under Armour, just to name a few. Fans/consumers will spend more money just to wear what their favorite team wears and brands, leagues, and collegiate athletic programs know it.

They love consumers like me; I know what they're doing, and I still give in to it. I have countless Kentucky basketball items; are any of them not manufactured by Nike? Absolutely not. While that may be partially due to my brand loyalty to Nike, it's mostly because I just want to wear the officially licensed supplier of my favorite team.

I represent the average fan gear consumer in America. I'm getting duped because of my fandom and I just don't care.


  1. Sports fans in general can be one of the most conforming groups of people. You are definitely right. If one fan starts doing something and people like it, you can bet that everybody and their brother will be doing the same thing. My girlfriend wants to kill me sometimes because I am so picky when it comes to my favorite teams apparel. I love the brand, but even more, I love the team. I want to feel as close to being a part of it as I can so I am going to do my best to look the part. Why do I do this? Because I give in to the powers of my reference group, the American sports fan.

  2. It just goes to show that if a marketer can get to one person it can spread like wild fire. I can also see where the athletes (esp. student athletes) should be getting compensated for bringing in revenue.

  3. I fully agree with this. I see it in my cousin who is a major Kentucky fan as well. He always talks about how he feels like he is conforming when buying Kentucky gear, but he doesn't mind at all because he loves them so much!

  4. I'm a huge nike fan! I love wearing everything they make, shoes, shirts, sweats, you name it, I love it. For me as a consumer, I feel like them offering "officially licensed" gear for fans is actually doing a favor for people like me. I mean, I'm gonna buy that shirt anyways, because I like the way it feels and the way it fits me, so why not pay a couple extra bucks (if anything) to get my favorite team plastered all over it?? For me, that would be the Steelers. Anytime I find Nike or UnderArmour shirts, sweatshirts, and shorts with the Steelers logo on them, its a no brainer.
    I see your side, but this is where I'm coming from. They make GREAT clothes, and if you, like me, buy that shirt blank, why wouldn't you get the same one AND support your favorite team?

  5. i completely agree! i can remember even as a kid i had to have the exact same apparel as my favorite athletes. i could never have the red white and blue adidas soccer cleats, because team usa had the nike ones. much like you i am now aware of my buying habits, but i just like to have the real deal.

  6. I am very brand loyal to Nike. I refuse to wear any other kind of shoe than Nike. I like the way they feel and I am completely satisfied with every pair that I have owned. I only look in the Nike section in every shoe store because I have a problem with being so brand loyal that I ignore the other brands that are available to me.