Examining the effects of Twitter usage on athlete brand personality.

  • Blaszka M
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The way athletes are able to communicate with their fans has changed considerably over the last decade (Clavio & Kian, 2010). Athletes have the ability to distribute messages through Twitter that may reflect their personality characteristics. Through these tweets, consumers have the ability to possibly relate directly with the athlete based on the characteristics they portray. Given the importance of social media and brand personality, this study combined those two to examine athlete brand personality. A mixed methodology approach (content analysis and survey methodology) was used to determine consumer's view of an athlete's brand personality on Twitter. Prior to the study, a pretest was conducted to identify athlete-based brand personality items that could apply to any athlete. Through the pre-test, 16 brand personality characteristics were identified. Furthermore, a thematic analysis was conducted which confirmed six additional athlete brand personality characteristics bringing the total number of characteristics to 22. Utilizing these 22 athlete based brand personality characteristics, the consumer evaluated the athlete's brand personality characteristics on Twitter. To examine brand personality characteristics, a 7-point Likert scale was used to measure the "fit" of the brand personality characteristics. The survey evaluated different levels of Twitter consumers, athlete and team identification, prestige, and distinctiveness. Each athlete in this study had different athlete brand personality characteristics they were trying to portray. A content analysis revealed the athletes most salient brand personality characteristics. The survey revealed varied results for low, moderate, and highly identified fans for both athlete identification and team identification with each brand personality item and each athlete. For Granderson, significant differences existed between athlete identification and five brand personality items. For Eric Decker, significant differences were found between team identification levels and eight brand personality items. No significant differences were found between Jason Heyward, identification levels (athlete or team) and the athlete brand personality characteristics. However, Heyward had significant differences with the athlete Twitter brand personality items and Twitter usage levels. In terms of prestige and distinctiveness, significant differences were found between low, moderate, and high levels of athlete and team identification and Twitter usage and distinctiveness, but not prestige. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Athletes
  • *Brand Names
  • *Consumer Attitudes
  • *Social Media
  • Personality

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  • Matthew M Blaszka

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