Athletes as Product Endorsers: The Effect of Gender and Product Relatedness

Boyd, Thomas C.; Shank, Matthew D.
June 2004
Sport Marketing Quarterly;2004, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p82
Academic Journal
Although the use of athletes as endorsers is increasing, we know relatively little about how consumers perceive athlete endorsers and the factors that influence endorser effectiveness. In particular, we know little about how congruence--the "fit" between the product, the endorser and the consumer--influences consumer perceptions of the endorser. The authors report on a study that examines the effects of endorser gender, consumer gender, and the type of product advertised on consumer perceptions of endorser trustworthiness, expertise, and attractiveness. After viewing ads containing athlete endorsers for either milk or cross trainer shoes, subjects answered a battery of questions about their perceptions of the endorser. Findings show that regardless of product type, subjects rate endorsers of the same gender as more trustworthy. Also, women rate endorsers as more expert when there is a fit between the endorser and product (e.g., when the endorser uses the product in their sport) while men rate endorsers as more expert when there is not an endorser-product match. Other findings and implications are also discussed.


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