Document Type : Research Paper


1 Phd, Sport Marketing Management, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Faculty of Manegement, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


 The purpose of this study was to provide an appropriate model for developing the brand equity of the Iranian Football League. Given this purpose, the present research is an exploratory inquiry into the orientation of a fundamental research that uses the strategy of the grounded theory with a classical (emergent) approach. To collect data, 24 in-depth interviews with participants of research conducted. Participants were selected theoretically through a judicious and targeted sampling method. Analysis of data was conducted during three stages of open, selective and theoretical coding. Ultimately the final model of research formed as a triplex model, including institutions, prerequisites and the specialty of branding the league. According to the results of the research, as long as there are major and structural prerequisites, the branding of the Premier League will not be fruitful; The interaction and interaction between the sovereign institutions, the media and the football institutions will determine the extent to which these requirements are met, among which the role of sovereign institutions is very high. Therefore, the organization of the Iranian Football League has been looking to facilitate and fulfill these requirements, in addition to focusing on the branding activities of the league, along with other football institutions, especially the Football Federation. Also, it is imperative for the league organization to prioritize objectives and determine the desirable position for the brand, and to follow a principled and scientific process in branding activities in order to benefit from the desired outcomes of a credible brand.


  1. Gordon BS, James JD. “The Impact of Brand Equity Drivers on Consumer-based Brand Equity in the Sport Service Setting”. 2017:1-273
  2. Bodet G, Chanavat N. “Building global football brand equity: Lessons from the Chinese market”. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics. 2010 Jan 12;22(1):55-66.
  3. Aaker DA, Equity MB. “Capitalizing on the Value of a Brand Name”. New York. 1991;28(1):35-7.
  4. Keller KL. “Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity”. Journal of marketing. 1993 Jan;57(1):1-22.
  5. Aaker DA. “Measuring brand equity across products and markets”. California management review. 1996 Mar 1;38(3).
  6. Takali H, Hamidi M, Khabiri M, Sajjadi N, Alhani F. “The Analysis of Experts\' Perceived Experience of the Effective Factors in Brand Equity of Iranian National Olympic Committee”. World Journal of Sport Sciences. 2012;6(4):441-51.
  7. Kunkel T, Doyle JP, Funk DC. “Exploring sport brand development strategies to strengthen consumer involvement with the product–The case of the Australian A-League”. Sport Management Review. 2014 Nov 1;17(4):470-483.
  8. King B. “Confident, yes, but can new league survive”. Sports Business Journal. 2009.
  9. Southall RM, Nagel MS, LeGrande DJ. “Build It and They Will Come? The Women's United Soccer Association: A Collision of Exchange Theory and Strategic Philanthropy”. Sport Marketing Quarterly. 2005 Sep 1;14(3).

10. Kaynak E, Salman GG, Tatoglu E. “An integrative framework linking brand associations and brand loyalty in professional sports”. Journal of Brand Management. 2008 May 1;15(5):336-57.

11. Gladden JM, Milne GR, Sutton WA. “A conceptual framework for assessing brand equity in Division I college athletics. Journal of sport management”. 1998 Jan 1;12(1):1-9.

12. Ross SD. “A conceptual framework for understanding spectator-based brand equity”. Journal of sport Management. 2006 Jan 1;20(1):22-38.

13. Kerr AK, Gladden JM. “Extending the understanding of professional team brand equity to the global marketplace”. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing. 2008 Jan 1;3(1-2):58-77.

14. Charumbira LT. “Proposing the sports team brand hierarchy conceptual Framework”. International Journal of Marketing and Business Communication. 2016 Jan 1;5(1):12-20.

15. Gladden JM, Funk DC. “Developing an understanding of brand associations in team sport: Empirical evidence from consumers of professional sport”. Journal of Sport management. 2002 Jan 1;16(1):54-81.

16. Ross SD, James JD, Vargas P. “Development of a scale to measure team brand associations in professional sport”. Journal of sport management. 2006 Apr 1;20(2):260-79.

17. Bauer HH, Stokburger-Sauer NE, Exler S. “Brand image and fan loyalty in professional team sport: A refined model and empirical assessment”. Journal of sport Management. 2008 Mar 1;22(2):205-26.

18. Biscaia R, Correia A, Ross S, Rosado AF, Maroco J. “Spectator-based brand equity in professional soccer”. Sport Marketing Quarterly. 2013;22:20-32.

19. Kunkel T, Funk DC, Lock D. “The effect of league brand on the relationship between the team brand and behavioral intentions: A formative approach examining brand associations and brand relationships”. Journal of Sport Management. 2017 May 15;31(4):317-32.

20. Richelieu A. “Building the brand equity of professional sports teams”. Faculté des sciences de l'administration de l'Université Laval, Direction de la recherche; 2003.

21. Schilhaneck M. “Brand management in the professional sports club setting”. European Journal for Sport and Society. 2008 Jan 1;5(1):43-62.

22. Watkins BA. “Revisiting the social identity–brand equity model: An application to professional sports”. Journal of Sport Management. 2014;28(4):471-80.

23. Alizade, G. A. “Factors affecting brand loyalty of fans to the popular professional league football”. (Unpublished master dissertation). University of Tehran. (2010). (Persian).

24. Ehsani, M., & Javoni, V. “Effect successful teams brand on amount loyalty in the Premier League fans”. Applied Research in Sport Management, (2012). 1(2), 89-98. (Persian).

25. Sajadi, N., Rajabi, H., Abedloni, M., & Tarighi, R. “Study of factors affecting brand equity Persepolis Tehran Club”. New Approaches in Sports Management, (2013). 1(3),43-52. (Persian).

26. Memari1 Zh, Asqari JafarAbadi M, Nasserzadeh H. “Validation of the Ross Brand Association Scale in sports teams”. Biannual Journal of Sport Development and Management. 2017. 6(10), 117-131. (Persian).

27. Rasooli, M., Khabiri, M., Elahi, A., & Aghaee, N. “Internal Factors and Obstacles of Brand Management in Iran's Pro League Football Clubs”. Sport Management Studies. 2016. 8 (35): 51-66. (Persian)

28. Desbordes M, Richelieu A, editors. “International Sport Marketing: Issues and Practice”. Routledge; 2019 Apr 24.

29. Seifpanahi J, Hamidi M. “An Investigation and Analysis of Revenue Generating Methods of The World and Iran Football Clubs”. 2017: 21-32. [in Persian]

30. Glaser BG. “Conceptualization: On theory and theorizing using grounded theory”. International journal of qualitative methods. 2002 Jun;1(2):23-38.

31. Amiri. M, Norouzi Seyed Hossini. R, “An introduction on qualitative research method in sport”, 2nd, Tehran: Publication of Tehran University, 2014, 235-233(in Persian).

32. Glaser B. “Theoretical sensitivity. Advances in the methodology of grounded theory”. 1978.

33. Glaser BG. “Conceptualization: On theory and theorizing using grounded theory. International journal of qualitative methods”. 2002 Jun;1(2):23-38.

34. Glaser BG. “The grounded theory perspective III: Theoretical coding”. Sociology Press; 2005.

35. Gharehkhani H, Soleimani T, Saghi J, Peimanizad H. “Ranking the Hindering Factors of Private Sector Participation in Public Sports: Evidence from Qazvin Province, Iran”. Journal of Economic & Management Perspectives. 2017 Mar 1;11(1):206-13.

36. Veisi E, Mozafar Y, Adhami J. “Launching A Private Sports TV Channel in Iran; Needs Analysis And Model Development”. 2015 : 701-712 (in Persian).

37. Javani V, Ehsani M, Amiry M, Kozechian H. “Brand Management Model in Sport Industry of Iran”. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-4478). 2013 Jul 3;2(3):68-74.

38. Richelieu A, Desbordes M. “Football teams going international--The strategic leverage of branding”. Journal of sponsorship. 2009 Dec 1;3(1).