Team brand extension or licensed product? Examining consumer awareness of two distinct brand strategies

Patrick Walsh, Isabell Rhenwrick, Antonio Williams, Adia Waldburger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose – While brand extensions and licensing are two distinct brand strategies, recent literature suggests that licensing be treated as an “external” brand extension. As both of these strategies have the ability to have positive and negative effects on the team's brand it is important to understand if consumers are aware if they are purchasing licensed products or extensions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine if consumers are aware when a brand extension or licensing situation is present. Design/methodology/approach – This research involved exposing participants to a total of 16 products (eight brand extensions and eight licensed products) and asking participants to indicate who developed the products they were exposed to. Findings – The results suggest that participants had a difficult time correctly identifying team licensed products, while in general they were able to successfully identify team brand extensions. Research limitations/implications – This study provides empirical evidence suggesting that licensed product should not be classified as brand extensions as has been previously suggested. As such, research on brand extensions may not be applicable to licensing and vice versa. Practical implications – As there is some confusion in regards to who is manufacturing team licensed product, it is important that sport properties choose licensees that produce high quality products to limit potential negative effects on their brand. Originality/value – This was the first known study to examine differences in consumer awareness of team brand extensions and licensed products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-108
Number of pages13
JournalSport, Business and Management: An International Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 6 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Brand equity
  • Brand extensions
  • Licensing
  • Sport brand management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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