The athlete brand: behind the scenes

Andrea M. Hermansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The sports industry has turned into a lucra2ve business, and athletes are increasingly being marketed as brands in their own right. The project focuses on the branding process of the athlete and of how brand equity is created. The project inves2gates the rela2onship between the consumer demand and the athlete brand and discusses how storytelling, archetypes, and secondary associa2ons influence the making of the athlete brand. The project further inves2gates what problem areas that may arise in dealing with an athlete brand. The project proceeds to discuss the CBBE model and how the athlete brand differs from that of a product or service in the brand building process. The CBBE model was found to be insufficient and a new model with the athlete at the center of aDen2on is proposed (i.e. the Athlete Brand Equity model). Five parameters are claimed to be vital for the making of the athlete brand, and a measurement framework is presented in order to inves2gate the parameters, in form of the Athlete Status Pyramid and the Athlete Status Configura2on table. The pyramid presupposes that all the five parameters be met in order to reach the pinnacle of the pyramid. However, the project reaches the conclusion that not all of the parameters are of equal importance and that a brand with high equity can be obtained despite the athlete not fulfilling all the parameters. Thus the project concludes that the Athlete Status Pyramid needs to be modified to make the measurement framework valid. All in all the project provides a basis for the understanding of the branding process of the athlete brand.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages103