Contribution to Book
Michael Jordan is considered by many to be not only the greatest basketball player, but also the greatest athlete of all time. Fans, sports analysts, and former and current players profess feelings of awe when recollecting his elite performance on the basketball court and when discussing his mystique off the court. Air Jordan, the brand bearing Jordan’s name, image, and likeness, is one of Nike’s most successful business units, and yet has received very little attention in the existing literature. Recently, the athletic departments of four large Division I universities have attempted to leverage the connection between Air Jordan and fans’ emotional responses to Jordan the athlete by branding their athletic apparel with Jordan Brand’s Jumpman logo. The present research evaluates this partnership in an attempt to determine the extent to which the emotional responses elicited by the brand of a storied athlete can influence the behavior of stakeholders of other organizations, such as fans of university athletic programs. We collect data from attendees of football games at two partner universities, gauging the strength of their emotional response to the Jordan Brand-university partnership and their propensity to engage in behaviors such as purchasing merchandise, attending games in the future, and donating to the university as a result of the partnership. The findings support the notion that the Jordan Brand partnership elicits strong emotional responses from fans and can influence their behavior in both purchasing and non-purchasing contexts. This supports the expansion of similar partnerships between large organizations and powerful brands.
Euisoo Kim & James J. Zhang
Harrison, C. K., Babiak, K., Tingle, J., Dickens, J., Griffin, W., & Bukstein, S. (2022). Transcending ball and ballin': Connecting the Jordan Brand and college football fans. In E. Kim & J. J. Zhang (Eds.), Sport governance and operations: Global perspectives. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003213673-13
Sport Governance and Operations: Global Perspectives