Title: The effects of using pre-elite athletes as brand endorsers on purchase intent and brand image

Authors: Nicholas Fraser; Brad Hill; Popi Sotiriadou

Addresses: Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith Business School, Business 2, (G27), Room 2.23, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Parklands Drive, Southport Qld 4215, Australia ' Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith Business School, Business 2, (G27), Room 2.23, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Parklands Drive, Southport Qld 4215, Australia ' Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith Business School, Business 2, (G27), Room 2.23, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Parklands Drive, Southport Qld 4215, Australia

Abstract: This study examines the effects of perceived attractiveness and facial features of unfamiliar Guyanese pre-elite athletes on perceived brand image match-up and perceived purchase intent of the FILA brand. Two hundred twenty six Guyanese citizens were presented with images of Guyanese pre-elite athletes and the FILA brand logo. The influence of the pre-elite athletes' facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, skin) were tested on athlete match-up with FILA brand image and purchase intent of the FILA brand while controlling for perceived familiarity and attractiveness of the athletes. The findings revealed unfamiliar attractive female Guyanese pre-elite athletes can drive purchase intent of the FILA brand. Specifically, the eyes and skin significantly increased purchase intent. Unfamiliar athletes did not positively influence brand image match-up. The findings contribute to the area of athlete brand endorsement by deepening the understanding of relationships among athlete familiarity, attractiveness and match-up in terms of influencing brand image and purchase intent.

Keywords: elite athletes; brand image; purchase intent; high performance sport; pre-elite athletes; brand endorsments; perceived attractiveness; facial features; unfamiliar athletes; Guyana; FILA brand; product brands; perceived familiarity; female athletes; eyes; skin; gender; branding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2016.077922

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2016 Vol.16 No.3/4/5/6, pp.133 - 151

Available online: 22 Jul 2016 *

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