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Wilson, Jonathan; Liu, Jonathan (2010)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: GV, HF
Academic literature on sports sponsorship focuses largely on analysis from sponsors’ and consumers’ perspectives - with little consideration given to those of athletes and agents. General assumptions being, that if offered sponsorship, athletes and agents will invariably accept. This conceptual paper examines, from athletes’ perspectives, how much time and resources should be devoted to sponsorship and personal brand-building activities - in order to generate greater returns and wider career opportunities. This is especially crucial as, comparable with other professions, athletes have shorter careers. Furthermore, as personal brand equity is crucial to not only elite athletes, but to all professionals, an explanation of this phenomenon 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 outside of competing. A focus has been given to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) fighters, as an extreme example of this phenomenon - due to the higher levels of risk associated and risk minimisation strategies observed - notably by forming alliances with the gaming industry. Information was gathered using expert knowledge-elicitation, gained from in-depth interviews.
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