Examining the rise and role of college athletics as a business : brand management and brand power in Division I intercollegiate athletics



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This paper seeks to examine how major college athletics have grown into a billion dollar industry, and the way businesses, advertisers and the schools themselves can effectively grow their brands. By understanding the theoretical framework referenced by the social identity theory, disposition theory and identity through mass media, this paper offers a look into the reasoning for America’s strong affinity towards college athletics. Resulting in a mass market for intercollegiate sports delivered though various media outlets, and the business models that conferences and television networks operate in an effort to capitalize on their demand. In addition, the observation and analysis for organizational dissension between conferences and membership is explored in order to better understand the reasoning for shifts between university teams and conferences.