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An Exploration of whether Leinster Rugby Fans are Representative of a Brand Community

O'Neill, Rory (2018) An Exploration of whether Leinster Rugby Fans are Representative of a Brand Community. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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In the world of the sport, increasingly the economic interests prevail over other interests of the emotional type. Sports organisations must manage their resources efficiently, and just one of these resources is the brand. Fans are increasingly recognised as a crucial element of sports brands, as such, clubs and teams must understand that their fans can enhance the brand equity of the team. One way organisations are exploring this development is through investigating the presence of brand communities around sports organisations. There is an abundance of marketing literature surrounding the topic of brand communities, however the sport field is only in the beginning stages of applying this idea and as a result brand communities within sport is not a topic that is well understood.

This study seeks to explore the topic of a brand community in detail, to understand its definition, development, and characteristics, so that these findings may supplement further investigation into brand communities in sport. Leinster Rugby, a provincial Irish rugby union team form the basis of this research, which seeks to identify whether or not Leinster Rugby fans are representative of a brand community.

This research project involves six in-depth interviews coupled with participant observation to explore Leinster fans relationship with the brand and other fellow fans. Through analysis of the primary data and consideration of the brand community literature it was found that Leinster Rugby fans do exhibit the characteristics of a brand community. Additionally, this research finds that fans attitudes towards brand communities are mixed, which suggests further research in this area is necessary.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Branding
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Sports
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2018 13:56
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2018 13:56

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