Revenue / Teams

Branding

NY Mets brand equity

Author Shawn Whelchel, University of San Francisco

Posted: April 26, 2016

Tagged: Brand equity

Following an impressive World Series run during the 2015 season, the New York Mets are now benefiting from a spike in brand equity and loyalty as a result of their on-field performance. According to Lefton (2016), the Mets have already seen an increase in full-season, full-season-equivalent and single-game ticket sales, a growth in sponsorship numbers and an influx of business on the team’s regional sports network, SportsNet New York. The growing interest in connecting with the Mets brand on both a consumer and sponsorship level are all indicative of the Met’s growing equity.

The three areas of growth in the aforementioned-areas are all in line with Gladden’s (2014) view that “The development of brand equity leads to outcomes such as media exposure, corporate sales, ticket sales, and merchandise sales” (p. 7). Although merchandise sales were not directly mentioned in Lefton’s report, we can assume that area has seen growth through the transitive properties of brand equity in which Gladden (2014) states “As brand equity increases for the sport brand, so too should brand loyalty increase” (p. 5). Loyalty includes behavioral loyalty, which is the propensity to repeatedly purchase a product (Gladden, 2014, p. 11). But, in focusing on the non-objective data that Lefton supplies us in his report, we can still see concrete evidence of growth in the Mets’ brand equity.

Firstly, this is indicated through the increase in ticket sales. As Lefton (2016) indicates in his article, not only did the Mets see an overall increase in the number of tickets sold, but the increase occurred despite a price hike of nearly three percent (para. 2). Although brand management is the preferred method of choice for realizing long-term value, the Mets are cashing in on last year’s on-field performance by realizing higher margins due to premium pricing (2014, Gladden, p. 6). However, the Mets have positioned themselves in a favorable position to foster loyalty, and there forth continued ticket revenues for years to come, through various brand attributes. These include success, players, in which a young and dazzling pitching rotation should continue to draw interest into the foreseeable future, team characteristics which paint the Mets as the scrappy underdogs, the stadium, team history and fans of the Mets, as New York fans are known to be a passionate group. It’s now up to the marketing team of the Mets to continue to draw on these attributes to secure long-term loyalty despite the variable of performance on the field.

The increased sales through SportsNet New York can be indicative of growing brand equity through the categories of brand attitude and benefits in relations to their target market or fans. With sales on both the broadcast and digital side increasing according to Lefton (2016, para. 3-4), it can be quantified that fans are taking a higher interest in the club due to benefits and attitudes fostered by the World Series appearance. Benefits as listed in Gladden (2014, p. 10) include escape, nostalgia and emotions from the past postseason, identification, entertainment and other social aspects. The previously mentioned attributes compound these benefits, which results in a domino effect that brings loyalty to the club. According to Gladden (2014), “brand attributes lead to brand benefits, which result in attitudinal loyalty and subsequently in behavioral loyalty” (p. 11). Behavioral loyalty then fosters repeat purchases, which results in a feedback loop of continued brand equity.

The addition of 34 new sponsors for the 2016 season (Lefton, 2016, para. 6) provides another example of the Mets’ increasing brand equity. With all the above mentioned variables, such as on-field performance and attractive brand attributes, a host of new sponsors are looking to align with the prosperous sport property in an attempt to modify or reinforce their own brand image through image transfer (Gladden, 2014, p. 4). All of the previously mentioned attributes- such as success, team characteristics, players and fans- are image benefits that companies now seek to align themselves with in order to enhance their own equity, thus resulting in a boon in sponsorship numbers for the Mets that only furthers their equity growth.

 

References

Gladden, J. (2014). Brand equity: Management and measurement in sport. In M. P. Pritchard & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging Brands In Sport Business (pg. 3-20). New York, NY: Routledge

Lefton, T. (2016, April 11). New York Mets’ strong offseason follows pennant-winning year. SportsBusiness Journal, 19(1). Retrieved from www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/

About Shawn Whelchel, University of San Francisco

Shawn Whelchel is a sports journalist in the Bay Area covering a variety of organizations for various local websites. He is currently a member of Cohort 44 in the University of San Francisco Sport Management program, looking to gain a better understanding of the media relations and communications aspects of the sport industry. He can be found on Twitter (@ShawnWhelchel) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/shawnwhelchel). Writing samples can also be found at http://sfbay.ca/author/shawn/. This article is an edited version of a paper Shawn prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by Arturo Pardavila III, "Steven Matz pitches vs. Marlins", www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila. Accessed via Creative Commons license.