Cool Base Jerseys

Author Alice Sergent, University of San Francisco

Author Michelle Maqueda, University of San Francisco

Posted: May 7, 2016

Tagged: Brand equity

All brands must have a distinctive quality which builds value to the consumer. Majestic has taken a new approach to target a younger audience through its’ new “Cool Base” jersey marketing campaign. Although Majestic’s Cool Base jerseys are a product of brand design research launched in 2015, their most recent 2016 advert is aimed to promote the perceptual rather than the conceptual aspect, conveying meaning (Malkewitz and Bee, 2014, p. 96) to appeal to a younger audience (Lefton, 2014, para. 2). With Majestic’s new product, we will see how different attributes used in the campaign become valuable to the sport consumer.

Gladden (2014) identifies five categories of brand equity: “brand loyalty, awareness, perceived quality, brand association and other proprietary assets” (p. 5). It can be argued that this campaign focuses on brand loyalty and brand association, not dissociated from one another. He breaks down brand associations into three categories: brand attributes, brand benefits and brand attitudes (Gladden, 2014, p. 7).

First and foremost, Majestic touches on brand benefits, defined as the “meanings and value consumers derive from the consumption of the sport product” (Gladden, 2014, p. 9). Although benefits are challenging to impact, adjusting the focus on attributes and their relationship with benefits is key (Gladden, 2014, p. 9). Majestic successfully does this by injecting emotion (Lefton, 2014, para. 4) into its campaign by tying it in with team colors. The emotions aspect of Gladden’s (2014) “benefits” refers to the “variety of emotions that can be elicited from following a sport”. By releasing their advert just a day prior to the start of the MLB season, it can be argued that Majestic was trying to convey a feeling of excitement and happiness welcoming America’s favorite past time back. Like most brands, Majestic and the MLB are trying to convey a positive attitude towards their brand.

The same parallel can be made for two specific attributes: star players and colors (Gladden, 2014, p. 8). It uses the “players” attribute by showcasing one athlete from every MLB team in their campaign, including high profile baseman Kris Bryant representing the Chicago Cubs (Lefton, 2014, para. 6). As for the second attribute of “colors”, it can be argued that Majestic based their whole campaign on this. The very slogan of the campaign – “My Team, My Colors” – implies a strong identification with team colors. Lefton (2016) even points out the graphic play with the “color mist” (para. 3), which has the purpose of accentuating the team jerseys showcased in the advert and really differentiating the players. Indeed, color is a branding element that is often used to establish an identity (Dalakas and Rose, 2014). This type of association will connect deeply with younger fans that will encourage them to increase purchase behavior of the new product.

The “Cool Base” jersey presented by Majestic will allow fans to wear the same jerseys used by the athletes. Developing a new ‘tradition’ with the “wear what my heroes wear” is “a great way for sports teams to create and reinforce an identity while also evoking strong fan involvement and participation, which strengthens fan identification” (Dalakas and Rose, 2014, loc. 3503). Fans attitude can be reflected on the brand loyalty. According to Lefton (2016), Cool Base jersey sales have increased more than 50% This reflects on what Gladden (2014) talks about how merchandise sales, and renewal rates, show how consumers develop both attitudinal and behavior loyalty when purchasing the new Majestic “Cool Base” jerseys.

This new sport product shows how Majestic, being the exclusive on-field provider of the MLB, becomes valuable as the sport consumer takes part of a whole new experience through the marketing of Majestic’s new jerseys. The strength of branding in the sport industry reflects on the ability to have a distinctive, unique quality of a brand that will create value and meaning to the consumer. Majestic has used its exclusivity of being the on-field provider of the MLB by connecting teams with fans as leverage to market its new product, resulting in a unique experience to give consumers what they want.

 

References

Dalakas, V., & Rose, G. (2014). Developing brand identity in sport: lions, and tigers, and bears oh my. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Ed.), Leveraging brands in sport business [Kindle version] (loc. 3298-3684). Retrieved from Amazon.com

Gladden, J. (2014). Brand equity management and measurement in sport. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Ed.), Leveraging brands in sport business [Kindle version] (loc. 182-670). Retrieved from Amazon.com

Lefton, T. (2016). Marketing campaign seeks stronger ties to young consumers. SportsBusiness Journal, 18(49), 5. Retrieved from http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/

Malkewitz, K., & Bee, C. (2014). Undertaking successful brand design in sport. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Ed.), Leveraging brands in sport business [Kindle version] (loc. 2782-3273). Retrieved from Amazon.com

About Alice Sergent, University of San Francisco

After graduating from Leeds Beckett University (UK) with a Bachelor of Arts in Events Management, Alice followed her passion to the United States to pursue a Masters in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco. Growing up a competitive swimmer, chasing a career in the sports industry seemed like a natural path leading to a fulfilled life. Currently a Sponsorship Intern at the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club, Alice is eager to continue exploring her passion for the world of sport sponsorship. You can connect with Alice via asergent@dons.usfca.edu and at www.linkedin.com/in/alicesergent. This article is an edited version of a paper Alice and Michelle prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

About Michelle Maqueda, University of San Francisco

Michelle is a Puerto Rican native who graduated from Graceland University in 2014 with a dual major in both Sport Management and Business Administration. Wanting to further her education, Michelle is currently enrolled in the Sport Management Masters program at the University of San Francisco. Michelle currently works with BRC Group, a marketing agency known for its national soccer tournament, Alianza de Futbol. Her background in soccer, and working with kids at The Palmas Academy in Puerto Rico, has inspired Michelle to combine youth and soccer in hopes to pursue a career in Event Management with a focus on youth development. You can connect with Michelle via mmaqueda@dons.usfca.edu and at www.linkedin.com/in/michellemaqueda. This article is an edited version of a paper Alice and Michelle prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by Majestic Athletic, "My Team, My Colors - Cool Base™ Colors by Majestic Athletic", www.youtube.com/watch?v=030xsWfZktM. Accessed via Creative Commons license.