Core values brand building in sport: Stakeholder attitudes towards intercollegiate athletics and university brand congruency


The purpose of this case study was to investigate stakeholder attitudes toward athletic department behavioral congruency with the stated core values of a major BCS. 11CoThe BCS (Bowl Championship Series) is a college football selection system in the United States designed to provide five bowl match-ups among ten of the top ranked NCAA teams in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The BCS is further designed to ensure a culminating national championship game between the top two rated teams in the country. university located in the Southwestern portion of the United States. Research has indicated that positive and negative attitudes toward intercollegiate athletics can contribute to the perceptions of congruency with the established university mission and values. Over time, however, the increase in negative attitudes attributed to athletic department behavior brings into question their congruency with the university core values. Document analysis and personal interviews (N= 13) were conducted with individuals from each of six university internal and external stakeholder groups. Findings revealed four primary themes: (a) Excellence Equals Winning, (b) For Public Relations Purposes Only, (c) Separation and Isolation of the Athletic Department, and (d) Lack of Leadership from the Top-Down. Implications and future research concerning university brand image and core value accountability are discussed. © 2012 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand.

Publication Title

Sport Management Review