Title: How athletes build their brands

Authors: Marie-Agnès Parmentier; Eileen Fischer

Addresses: HEC Montréal, Service de l'enseignement du Marketing, 3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Bureau 4.733, Montréal, Québec, H3T 2A7, Canada. ' Schulich School of Business, York University, N304E, SSB 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada

Abstract: This paper examines the dynamic processes of person branding by conducting an inductive analysis of two case studies of acclaimed athletes: David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. Although their careers have notable similarities and both athletes are regarded as outstanding soccer players, they have contrasting profiles as person brands. An analysis of their on- and off-field brand-building practices helps us understand how people in sporting professions build brand equity. We offer novel conceptual insights on two elements that characterise athletes' brands: professional image and mainstream media persona. We provide insights into practices that yield a better professional image and a more valuable mainstream media persona, and posit connections between these constructs and person brand equity. Finally, we discuss implications for athletes and those managing their brands.

Keywords: person branding; brand equity; sport marketing; David Beckham; Ryan Giggs; soccer players; footballers; athlete brands; personal profiles; professional image; mainstream media persona; brand management; football stars.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2012.045491

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2012 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.106 - 124

Accepted: 07 Oct 2011
Published online: 16 Feb 2012 *

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