Purpose In the current era of fake news, illusions, manipulations and other artificial attributes of virtuality and reality, authenticity is a virtue that people highly appreciate. This study aims to examine the influence of the personal brand authenticity of top football players on loyalty to the football discipline in general, via the mediation of personal brand identification. Design/methodology/approach Based on data collected from a convenience sample of 562 respondents from Poland via an electronic survey and analyzed using the structural equation modeling method, this study explored, first, the influence of top football players' personal brand authenticity on consumers' identification with these football players, and second, how this identification may lead to enhancing loyalty to the football discipline. Finally, it verified how the loyalty effect (attitudinal and behavioral) varies across different categories of spectators. Findings Personal brand identification with authentic football stars is a focal factor enabling the creation of loyalty (attitudinal and behavioral) to the whole discipline. Consumers' perceptions of the authenticity of the personal brands of football players play a role in increasing identification with these personal brands. This identification is essential in achieving loyalty to football as a sports discipline via football celebrities. Practical implications Football players perceived as authentic are evaluated more positively, leading to consumer identification with these players, which, in turn, increases consumers' loyalty to football. Thus, the presence of authentic, skilled players is important for football, but the actual loyalty effect from authenticity can be achieved only by identification. Therefore, football requires exceptional, strong stars who reflect a set of desired personal values. Further research is needed to identify the desired set of values that leads to identification with football stars. Originality/value This study presents evidence that the personal brand authenticity of a football star is a driver of loyalty towards football discipline in general if the spectators' identification with this superstar occurs. Moreover, this study proves that loyalty to football driven by the personal brand authenticity of football stars differs between spectators' categories.

The power of personal brand authenticity and identification: top celebrity players' contribution to loyalty toward football

Kucharska, W;Confente, I;Brunetti, F
2020

Abstract

Purpose In the current era of fake news, illusions, manipulations and other artificial attributes of virtuality and reality, authenticity is a virtue that people highly appreciate. This study aims to examine the influence of the personal brand authenticity of top football players on loyalty to the football discipline in general, via the mediation of personal brand identification. Design/methodology/approach Based on data collected from a convenience sample of 562 respondents from Poland via an electronic survey and analyzed using the structural equation modeling method, this study explored, first, the influence of top football players' personal brand authenticity on consumers' identification with these football players, and second, how this identification may lead to enhancing loyalty to the football discipline. Finally, it verified how the loyalty effect (attitudinal and behavioral) varies across different categories of spectators. Findings Personal brand identification with authentic football stars is a focal factor enabling the creation of loyalty (attitudinal and behavioral) to the whole discipline. Consumers' perceptions of the authenticity of the personal brands of football players play a role in increasing identification with these personal brands. This identification is essential in achieving loyalty to football as a sports discipline via football celebrities. Practical implications Football players perceived as authentic are evaluated more positively, leading to consumer identification with these players, which, in turn, increases consumers' loyalty to football. Thus, the presence of authentic, skilled players is important for football, but the actual loyalty effect from authenticity can be achieved only by identification. Therefore, football requires exceptional, strong stars who reflect a set of desired personal values. Further research is needed to identify the desired set of values that leads to identification with football stars. Originality/value This study presents evidence that the personal brand authenticity of a football star is a driver of loyalty towards football discipline in general if the spectators' identification with this superstar occurs. Moreover, this study proves that loyalty to football driven by the personal brand authenticity of football stars differs between spectators' categories.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1050413
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