Posted by Kara Kennedy on 2012-01-11

Birmingham, Ala. – The University of Alabama is not the only team to win a national championship this week. Major corporate sponsors of the Crimson Tide like Golden Flake, Regions Bank, AT&T and Coca-Cola will likely also experience a significant “championship effect” in sales in the months that follow. Dan Hall, a recent Samford University graduate, has conducted a study that shows that corporate sponsors of successful sports teams typically experience increased brand loyalty and purchases from the team’s fan base. In July, in conjunction with the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, Hall along with Samford’s Brock School of Business’ Associate Professor of Marketing, Darin White, will present their findings at Cambridge University in England.

Hall conducted an online survey of several hundred fans from a wide variety of sports, such as college football, NBA, MLS, MLB, NFL and NASCAR. The results demonstrate that corporate sponsors of winning sports teams can expect to experience a significant bump in brand equity and purchase intentions from fans loyal to the team.

“Everyone wants to be associated with a winner,” said White. “People seek to share in the glory of a winning team by publicly displaying their support for the team in various ways. By purchasing products and brands that are associated with the winning team, people vicariously join the team and share in the team’s glory.”

The findings demonstrate that by simply being affiliated with a winning sports team is enough to stimulate self glory. According to White, “This is why we will see so many people displaying their affiliation to the University of Alabama in the months following the national championship.” Fans are also much more likely to purchase the products and brands associated with the team. “If you believe Nick Saban and other people from the team eat Golden Flake potato chips, then you want to mirror that behavior and eat them yourself – and in doing so you feel connected to the team.”

According to White, “Golden Flake, Regions Bank, and other companies associated with Alabama football should also be celebrating their own championship.”

About the Brock School of Business at Samford University:

The renaming of the Samford School of Business to the Brock School of Business in December 2007 is the latest in a long history of achievements for business education at Samford, which has offered degrees in business and commerce since 1922. In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. Alabama’s first part-time master of business administration degree program was established at Samford, and the first MBA degrees were awarded in 1967. The master of accountancy degree was approved in 1995. The business school was fully accredited by AACSB International in 1999, a recognition earned by less than 10 percent of business schools worldwide. The Brock School entrepreneurship program was chosen as the best new entrepreneurship in the U.S. in 2010 by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.