The Influence of Sports Celebrity Endorsers on Consumers' Purchase Intentions

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This doctoral dissertation analyzes endorsers’ influences on consumers’ purchase intentions from multiple perspectives. Therewith, the dissertation’s findings extend the perspectives of endorsement research and provide marketing professionals practical guidance on how to use product endorsers effectively.
Three studies are conducted to determine endorsers’ direct and indirect influences on consumers’ intentions to purchase an endorsed product. The studies’ findings indicate that, independent of the product category endorsed, endorsers’ influence on consumers’ intentions to purchase an endorsed product is mediated by their perceptions of the endorsement and the endorsed brand. Analyzing the effectiveness of different types of endorsers shows that sports celebrities are the most effective type of endorser in influencing consumers’ purchase intentions, while endorsements by peer consumers and company managers also have a positive, but less influential, effect. However, no evidence is found for a positive influence of an external expert’s endorsement on consumers’ purchase intentions. Moreover, it is not only endorsements by a single endorser that have an overall positive effect on consumers’ intentions to purchase but also endorsements that use multiple endorsers. In a single-endorser context, consumers’ perception of the congruence between the endorser and the endorsed product mediates the endorser’s effectiveness, whereas it moderates the effectiveness of multiple endorsers. The influence of consumers’ involvement with the endorsed product on their intentions to purchase it are ambiguous, as a company can benefit from engaging multiple sports-related endorsers to target existing consumer groups that have high levels of product involvement and new consumer groups that have low levels of product involvement. However, consumer involvement has a negative indirect influence on
consumers’ purchase intentions in a single-endorser context if the endorsement is not particularly congruent.
In summary, companies that use product endorsements as part of their marketing repertoire should clearly analyze the endorsement context, determine the consumer audiences to be targeted, and select their endorsers carefully to ensure that an endorsement campaign has an overall positive influence on consumers’ purchase intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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