Developing an Athlete Brand Identity Scale using Rasch Analysis

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Purpose: This study identifies important dimensions of the athlete brand identity construct incorporating the athlete perspective. It also uses Rasch analysis to provide a practical tool (the Athlete Brand Identity Scale) to measure how closely an athlete's personal brand identity is aligned with their perceived brand image. Design/methodology/approach: Reference to existing athlete branding measurement tools and consultation with ten athlete experts generated (74) items considered important to an athlete brand. Two different response scales were then used to test those items in wider surveys of athletes and consumers. This allowed for further scale development and measurement of congruence between an athlete's self-image and the brand image held by consumers (within the same survey). Factor analysis and Rasch analysis were carried out to refine the item pool and assess item measurement properties to establish a concise scale for determining athlete brand identity. Findings: Results show successful identification of four dimensions of athlete brand identity measurement: athletic integrity, athletic success, fan engagement and character traits, informed development of the Athlete Brand Identity Scale (ABIdS). The unique and significant aspect of the ABIdS is its capacity to incorporate the athlete's perspective into brand management. Practical implications: The ABIdS can be utilised by early-career athletes to plan and prioritise branding efforts whilst established athletes can identify incongruence between self-image and consumer perceptions. Such gaps can be evaluated and branding activities modified accordingly. This will enable athletes to better access corporate support/sponsorship thereby reducing reliance on public funds. Originality/value: The major difference between the ABIdS and other existing scales in the athlete brand research domain is the focus on the athlete perspective, as opposed to the consumer perspectives. Evaluating consumer perspectives does not explain how athletes perceive their own brand or how their own perception of their brand compares to that of people external to the brand (fans and consumers). The ABIdS developed in this study has the potential to achieve this objective as its design was driven by athlete perceptions but tested on both athletes and consumers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSport, Business and Management: An International Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)431-449
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 19.05.2020

ID: 5447341


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