Tracing the ABC’s of brand community

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to add a needed sport foundation for the brand community conversation evolution within the International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship (Popp et al., 2016; Richelieu, 2008; Trail et al., 2016) from the spark of Gladden and Funk’s (2001) brand association and loyalty in sport. Design/methodology/approach: This paper traces the evolution of brand community research from its beginnings in the general business literature to the current brand community research in sport marketing today. Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) define brand communities as a specialized and non-geographically bound community based around a set of structured social relationships amongst admirers of a brand and are often recognized as the most integral relationship component of consumers to brands (Muge and Ozge, 2013). Findings: Media transcends geography and brand communities will continue to transcend geography to the boundaries of mass media. Practical implications: With this growing importance on attachment to brand community (ABC) through mass media, or attachment team in the sport context, further exploration on attachment variables is critical for the success of the next evolutionary stage of brand communities. Originality/value: An ABC framework in the sport setting is proposed through multidisciplinary variables gathered in a review of brand community literature to address the unique attachment perspectives of sport consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 May 2019


  • Brand community
  • Fan groups
  • Relationship marketing
  • Sport marketing


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