Document Type




Format of Original

13 p.

Publication Date

Fall 2012


Henry Stewart Publication

Source Publication

Journal of Brand Strategy

Source ISSN



Athlete endorsement deals typically assume that the brand will benefit from an association with the celebrity athlete's public persona. When athletes find themselves in trouble with the law, spouses or frustrated fans, brands like Nike, Reebok, Buick, Wrangler and others must ask, 'Can these "rogue" sports celebrity endorsers resurrect their image and their endorsement power? Are there certain "rebellious" products that may be better suited for endorsement from such rogue celebrities? These are the key questions addressed in this research. Survey results asking respondents to assess real athlete endorsers with either a 'rebel' or benign brand show that matching rebel endorsers with rebel brands can lead to positive brand attitudes and purchase intentions. Social identity theory, which shows how consumers identify with the athlete, and how that rubs off on the brand, is sued to explain the effects found in the study. Implications are addressed for marketers considering athletes are endorsers.


Published version. Journal of Brand Strategy, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Autumn 2012): 279-291. Permalink. © 2012 Henry Stewart Publication. Used with permission.

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