Sport Marketing Quarterly, 2010, 19, 8-16, © 2010 West Virginia University
Brand Personality Brand Personality in Sport:
Dimension Analysis and
General Scale Development
Jessica R. Braunstein and Stephen D. Ross
Jessica R. Braunstein, PhD, is an assistant professor and the sport management internship coordinator at Towson University.
Her research interests focus on consumer behavior in sport, specifically examining the use and effectiveness of athlete
endorsers, brand personality, and the internal and external motivating factors regarding spectator consumption.
Stephen D. Ross, PhD, is an associate professor of sport management at the University of Minnesota. His research interests
include sport brand management, sport consumer psychology, and sport marketing as it relates to the youth segment.
The idea of brand personality in sport (BPS) has become a popular topic of study among academicians in
the sport management field. While the conceptualization and operationalization of the construct has been
heavily discussed, establishing a valid and reliable assessment tool has yet to be achieved. The current study
reexamines the general brand personality (BP) dimensions and looks to apply them to the unique charac-
teristics in sport. The scale developed in the current study establishes a baseline tool in which future research
can be conducted. The results provide initial levels of validity and reliability, making suggestions as to the
further development of the sport brand personality (BPS) construct. These findings support previous liter-
ature, yet provide a number of suggestions for future theoretical development.
Introduction Brand Personality
Long before Reis and Trout (1969) stressed the impor- As a result of advertising campaigns, brands are often
tance of positioning in order to solidify the branding portrayed as having human characteristics. Although
process in the mind of one’s consumer, marketers this concept had been described, it had not been sys-
focused on specific “character” traits when promoting tematically and empirically studied until Aaker’s
their products. Whether perceived or developed, brand (1997) creation of the Brand Personality Scale (BP).
personality (BP) has been studied regarding its use and After examining 309 candidate traits based on previous
effectiveness for decades (e.g., de Chernatony, 2001; literature (psychology, marketing, and original qualita-
Keller, 2003). With its academic exploration stemming tive research), the author ultimately looked at 114
from Aaker’s (1997) original five dimensions of brand traits over 37 brands. The final BP scale included 42
personality (i.e., Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, items/traits under five factors: Sincerity (e.g., honest,
Sophistication, Ruggedness), this phenomenon has genuine), Excitement (e.g., daring, spirited),
provided marketers with the ability to examine mar- Competence (e.g., reliable, responsible), Sophistication
keting practices, finding that matching the characteris- (e.g., glamorous, charming), and Ruggedness (e.g.,
tics of a brand with those of its endorsers and tough, strong). Although Govers and Schoormans’
consumers tends to be the most effective (e.g., Kamins, (2005) longitudinal study confirmed Aaker’s findings,
1990, Lynch & Schuler, 1994). Embracing many gener- examining the influence of product personality on a
al marketing practices, sport marketers have begun to consumer’s preference over time, Austin, Siguaw, and
question and, in turn, dissect this concept on their own Mattila (2003) argued that the BP scale was not gener-
turf (i.e., brand personality in sport – BPS) due to the alizable to individual brands, as a result of the method
unique characteristics often associated with sport and of the study. Agreeing that a measurement study was
sport products. As such, this study proposes to assess necessary to fully understand the concept of brand per