The Role of Self-Brand Connection on the Relationship Between Athlete Brand Image and Fan Outcomes

Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai, Kwame Agyemang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
1246 Downloads (Pure)


This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the offfield image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sport Management
Issue number3
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Journal of Sport Management, 2019, © Human Kinetics, Inc.

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • brand associations
  • fan commitment
  • spill-over effects
  • sponsorship
  • Fan commitment
  • Sponsorship
  • Spill-over effects
  • Brand associations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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