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Thorsten Tham highlights the fundamental changes that have swept Germany’s footballing landscape in recent years and presents theory-based impact hypotheses about forms of stimulus that can raise the loyalty of football-affine target groups before, during and after the game. Based on the example of traditional club VfL Bochum 1848 an online survey to analyze the influence of a Bundesliga match on different visitor target groups is conducted. The author discusses ways in which football clubs can change their multisensual approach to raise the profile of their club brand among football-affine target groups and increase loyalty to the club.



A Holistic multisensory approach as an opportunity for brand management in soccer

As a result of the increasingly rapid commercialization of sports in recent years, many sporting and sport-related associations have achieved record revenues and all-time high employment figures. Their success is especially notable when compared to medium-sized companies in other, more traditional industries. This growth has occurred alongside a growing professionalism in sports associations and specifically in soccer clubs.

Thorsten Tham

B Theoretical foundations and development of integrated reference framework

The need for precise brand communication techniques has already been underlined in Part A of this thesis. The following explanations build on the identity-based brand management approach, briefly introduced in Chapter A.3, where basic information about the components of the two constructs ‘brand identity’ and ‘brand image’ (see Figure 6) was given. If an organization succeeds in developing targetoriented brand communication, a strong fit between the identity and the image of a brand is achieved. In the subsequent sub-chapter, more detailed information about the determination of the brand image is provided. This serves as the foundation of our study. We follow this by emphasizing the need for brand controlling techniques.

Thorsten Tham

C Empirical study of sensory perception and effectiveness during games played by the German soccer club VfL Bochum 1848

Based on the characteristics of multisensory experiences at live sporting events and the conceptualization of brand management, the hypotheses listed in the previous chapter are now empirically tested.The database and its collection methods are first introduced, along with the statistical tools used for the analysis of the collected data. This is followed by a detailed empirical presentation of the results and their corresponding interpretation, taking into consideration the relevant statistical reliability and validity criteria of the applied methods.

Thorsten Tham

D Summary and implications

In this final section, the conceptual and empirical parts of the study are summarized, followed by a discussion of any practical implications which arise from its findings. The dissertation ends with a critical appraisal and a potential list of open research questions for future studies.

Thorsten Tham


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