Title: Branding the elite professional athlete through use of new media and technology: an interview with Ash De Walt

Authors: Khalid Ballouli; Michael Hutchinson

Addresses: Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina, 700 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. ' Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University, P.O. Box 261954, Conway, SC 29528, USA

Abstract: Current research in the area of sport marketing has provided new insight into the discussion concerning athlete brands. No longer are athletes simply of interest in areas of product endorsements; many are now considered powerful brands in their own right. Due to the relatively short careers of athletes, branding agencies specialising in the development and management of athlete brands have begun to market exclusive athlete branded content and entertainment. While superstars throughout the entertainment world have been of particular interest for some time, the extant literature on this topic has focused almost exclusively on the role of the athlete. However, very little is known about the role of the agency. This research adopts an expert interview methodology to explore the strategies employed by FusionSports, a marketing group specialising in digital athlete branding, in its effort to monetise the value of an athlete brand.

Keywords: sport entrepreneurship; digital marketing; new media; athlete branding; elite athletes; professional athletes; sport marketing; sports agencies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2012.044818

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2012 Vol.4 No.1, pp.58 - 64

Available online: 08 Jan 2012 *

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