Brand Equity in Sports Clubs: The Case of København Håndbold

Annesofie Normann Jepsen & Ellen Kirstine Thorhauge

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Branding has been discussed for decades, and the importance of brands and branding is not to be undervalued. A strong brand is needed in most industries and sectors and not the least so in the world of sports, where sports clubs see a rising need to embrace brand management in order to enhance and develop brand equity in an ever increasing competitive market among sport clubs. This thesis will explore how the brand equity of a Danish handball club, København Håndbold (KH), can be strengthened. The thesis is based on a social constructivist and pragmatic approach, where primary data have been collected through focus groups, interviews and an online survey. A thorough literature review has been carried out which presents the predominant theories, models and frameworks for branding & brand equity, customer experience, consumer behavior, strategy and situational analysis, and this is the foundation for the analysis. In the first part of the analysis, KH’s current brand equity is assessed with the new brand equity framework developed specifically for this project, and the findings prove that brand equity is low among the target group. The second part of the analysis reveals that KH’s customer experience is perceived as unsatisfying and many value gaps in the customer activity cycle are identified. The last part is an analysis of KH’s internal and external environment, and the findings and key issues are consolidated in a SWOT and TOWS. Based on the findings, the thesis outlines several strategic and tactical recommendations for KH in order to increase game attendance and thereby strengthen their brand equity. Due to the quite unstable and turbulent environment in which KH operates, a mix of deliberate and emergent strategy developments is suitable for KH. Several tactics are proposed and structured around the most important brand equity components. The tactics are especially concentrated around specific actions KH should undertake in order to create an extraordinary experience that should lead to an increase in game attendance, strengthen the emotional connection and generate loyalty among its customers. Furthermore emphasis is put on how KH should utilize social media to create brand awareness, develop a strong brand personality and foster loyalty.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages180