Arnie's Army

Author Dani Sherman, University of San Francisco

Author Jake Packman, University of San Francisco

Posted: April 30, 2017

Tagged: Brand equity

While brand attributes, or the features of the brand, typically pertain to teams, in some cases the attributes are relevant to other sport assets (Gladden, 2014). In the case of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, the history and tradition of the late, great Arnold Palmer and the many philanthropic endeavors he supported have led to increased benefits, positive attitudes, and loyalty amongst sponsors and customers. Even after Palmer’s passing, the nostalgia and emotions pertaining to his golf legacy and his charitable causes have driven consumers to continue to support his vision (Malkewitz & Bee, 2014). These traditions continue to live on through the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Cup, annual golf tournaments for the best international professional and collegiate golfers, respectively (Lombardo, 2017).

According to Lombardo (2017), the three primary focuses of the foundation are the “development of children and youth; health and wellness initiatives; and to strengthen communities and the environment” (para. 6). These focuses, combined with the benefits derived from the brand attributes previously mentioned, have elicited positive attitudes from consumers. Subsequently, these positive attitudes have led to increased brand loyalty, evident by the new three year, seven-figure sponsorship deals recently signed by MasterCard, Hertz, and Golf Channel, which each had previous associations with Palmer before his passing (Lombardo, 2017).

An organization’s name is a primary branding feature that creates a sense of identity for the brand and its followers (Dalakas & Rose, 2014). Arnie’s Army is named after the crowd of fans who followed Palmer throughout the 1959 Masters tournament (Lombardo, 2017). Not only does the name draw on the history and tradition of followers, it also applies several of the features of a successful brand name outlined by Dalakas and Rose (2014). The name is easy to say and spell, consisting of only two syllables (Dalakas & Rose, 2014). Army is also a tangible term, allowing fans to more easily create visual images and remember the name (Dalakas & Rose, 2014). Lastly, the name insinuates strength and power, which Dalakas and Rose (2014) say leads to positive fan identification due to the positive associations. While some might argue that Army could be considered a controversial name due to the violent nature of war, it can also be argued that the name properly aligns with the philanthropic foundation because armies are supposed to protect, defend, and support those in need.

Logos are a part of the company’s identity and are what differentiates it from other similar companies. Because of this, organizations must stay up-to-date on their logo, while also not losing the meaning and tradition behind the original design (Dalakas & Rose, 2014, p. 116). Specifically, Arnold Palmer Enterprises changed the main logo of the foundation to just the silhouette of a golf player, getting rid of the multi-color umbrella logo they used prior (Lombardo, 2017, para. 8). With Arnold’s passing last year, and younger generations not understanding the meaning and story behind the umbrella logo, the company had to do something to appeal to a broader audience, which the new logo will allow them to do (Lombardo, 2017, para. 9). Because the foundation was recently created and there’s not a long-standing tradition with using the umbrella logo, making a drastic logo change won’t disturb the identity of the brand – if anything, it will strengthen it by making it more relative.

Equipped with a new, more-fitting logo, Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation looks to be taking the correct steps toward rebuilding their brand and strengthening their brand identity. By playing on their brand attributes and creating positive attitudes to lead to brand loyalty, using a tangible name, and creating a logo that has meaning and symbolism, Arnold Palmer Enterprises is creating a memorable logo that will lead to successful branding.



Dalakas, V., & Rose, G. (2014). Developing brand identity in sport: Lions, and tigers, and bears oh my. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 109-122). New York, NY: Routledge.

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

Lombardo, J. (2017, April 10). Arnie’s Army rebrands, signs three sponsors. SportsBusiness Journal, 19(49). Retrieved from

Malkewitz, K., & Bee, C. (2014). Undertaking successful brand design in sport. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 89-108). New York, NY: Routledge.

About Dani Sherman, University of San Francisco

Dani Sherman is a graduate of Mills College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. While at Mills College, she started working part-time for the Oakland Athletics and discovered her passion for working in professional sports. She is currently a graduate student in the University of San Francisco’s Sport Management program. She is contactable via LinkedIn.

This is an edited version of a paper Dani prepared for Professor Michael Goldman‘s Sport Marketing course at the University of San Francisco.

About Jake Packman, University of San Francisco

Jake Packman graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a certificate in the Business of Sport. During his time in Colorado, Jake interned as a San Francisco Giants Lead Correspondent at and as a social media intern for the Colorado Rapids. Jake is currently enrolled in the Sport Management Master’s program at the University of San Francisco. He can be reached via LinkedIn.

This is an edited version of a paper Jake prepared for Professor Michael Goldman‘s Sport Marketing course at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by @arniesarmycf,