From Laconophilia to ‘The Sportan’: Balancing Athletic excellence, Sponsorship, Branding and Career prospects

Wilson, Jonathan A and Liu, Jonathan (2012) From Laconophilia to ‘The Sportan’: Balancing Athletic excellence, Sponsorship, Branding and Career prospects. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 11 (1/2). pp. 125-142. doi:10.1504/IJSMM.2012.045492

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his conceptual paper presents a phenomenon, which considers how professionalism encourages athletes to associate image with performance. A by-product of this observes that athletes consider alternative careers, spearheaded by their sponsorship activities. A general assumption exists, that if offered sponsorship, athletes and agents will invariably accept. However, a pilot study conducted with elite athletes, agents, marketers and sports video games manufacturers, using the Socratic elenchus method, reveals that calculating the necessary resources for sponsorship and athlete brand-building activities still remains somewhat of a black box. Furthermore, as personal brand equity is crucial to elite athletes, this paper defines brand-conscious athletes as Sportans. Finally, the authors propose a Rubicon be drawn, in order to preserve athletes' accrued brand equity – whereby Sportans consider retirement and movement into a new career, based upon their commercial successes, rather than sporting excellence. A focus has been given to mixed martial arts (MMA) and ultimate fighting championships (UFC) fighters – due to the higher levels of risk and minimisation strategies observed, which mitigate sporting failure.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Ineke Tijsma
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 15:24
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 12:46

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