Personal branding: a perspective from the professional athlete-level-of-analysis
by Courtney Hodge; Matthew Walker
International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (IJSMM), Vol. 16, No. 1/2, 2015

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the branding strategies of professional athletes. While recent research has emphasised the importance of branding individual athletes, several issues have been overlooked. For example, while fans and corporate sponsors derive value from associations with athlete brands, limited research has been conducted from the athlete level-of-analysis. This research makes a unique contribution to this area of inquiry by examining branding through the lens of professional athletes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with professional golfers (N = 15), among three professional golf levels, living in the USA. Themes that emerged in the data were athletic success, differentiation, and relationships with corporate sponsors, which were identified by the sample as the most important personal brand-building strategies. Upon further analysis, however, it was discovered that the athletes were faced with several marketing challenges. These challenges were identified as lack of knowledge, lack of time and/or support, and differences in career stage. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are suggested.

Online publication date: Wed, 24-Feb-2016

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (IJSMM):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email