Title: Athlete brand identity, image and congruence: a systematic literature review

Authors: Annika Linsner; Popi Sotiriadou; Brad Hill; Kirstin Hallmann

Addresses: Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Parklands Drive, Southport 4215, QLD, Australia ' Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Parklands Drive, Southport 4215, QLD, Australia ' Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Parklands Drive, Southport 4215, QLD, Australia ' Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933 Köln, Germany

Abstract: Research interest around athlete and human branding has increased significantly over recent years, however gaps are evident in terms of cohesive strategic direction and consensus around important issues. This study aims to address those gaps and determine a strategic direction for future research by providing an in-depth systematic literature review of existing material on athlete branding. A total of 63 articles published in 27 academic journals between 1999 and 2019 were analysed, revealing research on athlete branding had predominantly focused on brand image from the consumer perspective. Few studies investigated strategic athlete brand building and the importance of brand identity creation from the brand manager (athlete) perspective. Study findings highlight the importance of brand congruence as the synergy between athlete brand identity and athlete brand image. This research establishes foundations to inform development of strategic direction, guide future research and be the catalyst for new and innovative projects around athlete brand management.

Keywords: athlete brand management; brand identity; brand image; brand congruence; systematic literature review; human brands; athlete brands; athlete perspective; brand manager perspective; consumer perspective.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2020.10032825

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2021 Vol.21 No.1/2, pp.103 - 133

Accepted: 01 Jun 2020
Published online: 12 Apr 2021 *

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