Brand strategy: The Stormers’ case
Aspects of sports marketing can be viewed as a special case of marketing a brand. Branding has emerged as a top management priority due to the growing realisation that brands are one of the most valuable assets that organisations have. Brands enable marketers to develop and communicate specific images for individual products. The successes of individual brands therefore owe much to how effectively brand strategies are applied. Branding strategies are concerned with how brand identities such as brand name and brand mark are employed across the products of an organisation; little research has been conducted on whether these strategies have been successful, specifically with regards to sports marketing in South Africa. Rugby in South Africa has evolved into a lucrative business. With the beginning of the Super 12 in 1995, South
African rugby saw a new area of rugby competition, giving the South African rugby franchises an opportunity for new brands. Most South African rugby franchises kept the brand identities of the traditional provincial brands. However, the Stormers’ franchise developed a different branding strategy for their team in order to communicate a trendier brand, that would attract younger, as well as more female and coloured supporters than that of the traditional provincial brand, namely the Western Province. This article investigated the brand strategy of the Stormers’ rugby brand. The findings suggest that the Stormers’ brand is more trendy, and attracted a younger supporters base, but the brand strategy did not manage to attract more female and coloured supporters.
Key words: Sports marketing, brand strategy, brand identity, Super 14.
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