Sports Endorsement Sports Celebrity and Product Research Proposal

Pages: 34 (8783 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Sports Endorsement

Sports Celebrity and Product Endorsement From a Consumer Perspective

Marketing as a science and as an art form relies heavily upon impression building, an understanding of the psychology of one's consumers and the ability to communicate a desired image with the aid of emotionally evocative cues. When an advertising agency constructs the print, radio, television or internet item that will carry these characteristics, a great deal of thought and discussion will typically be invested in discussion the intended presentation of the client. This discussion will touch on such matters as the visual response sought by the client; the verbal phraseology which is likely to tow the difficult balance between compelling and safe; and the human subjects which will be used to endorse the product, service or reputation of the client. To this latter point especially, there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that the people who are used to endorse products, services or companies -- whether professional actors, regular off-the-street individuals or celebrity sponsors -- will evoke a response in the intended target. This is a reality that is especially relevant in the world of professional sports, where sponsorship and endorsement are largely consider a part of the job.

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The purpose of the research conducted here is to determine to what extent the use of athletes impacts the impression invoked in intended consumers, whether this has an effect on buying habits and, if so, how this effect is manifested. Based on that which is available in terms of research on the impact of sports celebrity endorsement on buying habits, it is argued here that positive sports celebrity image can have a positive impact on the market performance of the associated product, service or organization. It is also argued that endorsement by a sports figure who becomes subsequently entangled with a negative association due to legal infraction, behavioral instability or even performance decline can have a negative impact on an organization's desired impression and thus, on the organizations market performance.

Research Question:

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Sports Endorsement Sports Celebrity and Product Endorsement Assignment

In order to address the topic with focus and precision, the research is guided by some distinct questions concerning the correlation between sports figure endorsement and market behavior. The primary research question directing the research process is the following:

What is the impact, positive or negative, of sports celebrity endorsement, sponsorship or advertising association with relation to the effectiveness at reaching an intended target, at influencing buying behavior according to a desired end or at producing the desired relationship between image and brand?

This will result in the consideration of a number of sub-questions that will also guide the research process. Among them, the following are the most crucial;

How can the positive reputation of a sports figure impact the image of a product or organization?

How can the negative reputation of a sports figure impact the image of a product or organization?

Is there a direct correlation between the use of a sports celebrity and the sales performance of an associated product, line or organization?


There is a wealth of observable case history available for examination but there remains a shortcoming in terms of concrete data concerning popular impressions of the notion of sports celebrity endorsement and their direct tendencies of response thereto. This means that there is both a considerable availability of sources from which to draw a thorough understanding of the impact of sports endorsement on market behavior and simultaneously, a need to design some instrument for the gathering of data on individual responses and beliefs. As a result, the research will be conducted in two separate methodological phases.

The first phase of the research process will be a detailed investigative literature review. This will consider a host of scholarly journals, published texts, online sources and marketing reports on the subjects of sports advertising, celebrity endorsement and impression management. The synthesis of findings from previous research endeavors will be used to establish a fuller understanding of that which we already know or understanding about the potential value and possible drawbacks of using sports figures to create impression, brand association and consumer behavior. The sources consulted will address the relative popularity of the approach, the illustrated benefits, the possible pitfalls and the set of beliefs amongst advertisers and consumers that impact the way in which this method of advertising is used.

The findings produced by the literature review will be used to hone the set of questions best suited to construct a meaningful and effective survey instrument for the gathering of sample data. From a sample of 100 self-proclaimed sports fans, divided directly in half amongst 50 male and 50 female subjects, the survey would be distributed with intent to gain an understanding of how sports fans view themselves in relation to celebrity sports endorsers and the buying habits related to associated products, services or organizations. The sample selected for the survey would be drawn from volunteers in attendance at an actual sporting event. As the bulk of this research would be conducted in concert with the soccer season, volunteers would be selected at a World Cup soccer game and administered the survey, which they could then return to an honor box located toward the front gate of the stadium. The findings of the surveys would then be synthesized into a set of findings concerning consumer self-report on buying habits and personal response tendencies where sports celebrity product endorsement or sponsorship is concerned.

Literature Review:

A literature review on the subject concerns first and foremost the principles and available findings relating to celebrity endorsement in marketing as a more general concept. This will lead us into various points of discussion relating to the perceived impact of utilizing an individual of popular recognition or appeal to establish some desired image or impression of a product, service or organization. Generally speaking, this refers to the very familiar and commonly used appeal to figures of note from entertainment, public service or other various fields of performance to speak persuasively on the behalf of a product or organization. The marketing approach is described in the research by Agrawal & Kamakura (1995) as being largely beneficial to the organization in question, provided that it has successfully chosen the appropriate individual to serve as a hired representative. As Agrawal & Kamakura denote, the apparent effectiveness and value of this method of advertising leads many organizations to perceive it as a worthwhile expenditure. Indeed, as their article reports, "according to industry sources, approximately 20% of all television commercials feature a famous person, and approximately 10% of the dollars spent on television advertising are used in celebrity endorsement advertisements." (Agrawal & Kamakura, 56)

The frequency with which companies are willing to appeal to celebrities for marketing purposes denotes the view that there are distinct opportunities for the company itself to gain greater recognition, positive association, brand image development and a host of other potential gains that can have the effect of improving consumer gravitation toward a product. Indeed, where celebrity endorsement is concerned, there is a tendency on the part of the consumer to draw inferences about the nature of the company being advertised. Many of these inferences will be drawn from a perception of the celebrity in question and will be used to construct an emotional response to that which is being sold and advertised. According to Agrawal & Kamakura, there is already an existing body of research to contend that this pattern is accurate. To the point, they report that "findings show that celebrities make advertisements believable and enhance message recall. Furthermore, celebrities aid in the recognition of brand names, create a positive attitude towards the brand and create a distinct personality for the endorsed brand." (Agrawal & Kamakura, 56) Provided that advertisers have selected the proper celebrity to resonate with the selected target, the money invested into bringing a celebrity onboard will be an intangible expense but can be rewarded with the exponentially beneficial outcome of an overall achievement of brand image.

This is proving especially true where sports celebrities, professional athletes and others affiliated with professional sports are concerned. The natural marketing context and inbuilt audiences provided by sportscasts, regionally popular sports figures or even nationally or globally recognized athletes functions as a very attractive motive for companies and products that bear a relationship peripherally or directly to the world of sports. For sports of a wide variety both within the largest sports marketing context of the United States and throughout the rest of the world, there is a shared perspective that sports figures have a unique draw when targeting the appropriate audience. As the text by Wenner (1998) phrases it, "the common factors in these phenomena, beyond the construction of communities of sporting interests that transcend national boundaries, is that boundaries between what used to be related but separable activities -- the promotion of sports, and the use of sports events and personalities to promote other products -- are being dissolved." (Wenner, 57)

Wenner introduces to this discussion the compelling idea that sports marketing is a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Sports Endorsement Sports Celebrity and Product" Research Proposal in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Sports Endorsement Sports Celebrity and Product.  (2009, July 12).  Retrieved January 18, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Sports Endorsement Sports Celebrity and Product."  12 July 2009.  Web.  18 January 2022. <>.

Chicago Style

"Sports Endorsement Sports Celebrity and Product."  July 12, 2009.  Accessed January 18, 2022.