Celebrity endorsement is considered an effective promotional tool by marketers worldwide. Researchers have found that celebrity endorsements result in favorable advertisement ratings and product evaluations, which ultimately have a substantial positive impact on financial returns for the companies (Silvera and Austad, 2004). Particularly, sport celebrities have been considered to be attractive endorsers because they represent healthy, strong, vigorous, enthusiastic and energetic images that many agencies/companies pursue to be associated with (Bush, Martin, and Bush, 2004). A sports celebrity endorser is a famous athlete or coach who uses public recognition to recommend or co-present with a product in an ad (Bush, Martin, and Bush, 2004). Indeed, most top professional athletes, who maintain endorsement contracts as one main source of income, reach considerably higher level of financial success than other athletes without contracts. Interestingly, however, not all athletes reap similarly lucrative benefits from such endorsement contracts. Numerous highly successful athletes occasionally fail to make endorsement contracts due, in part, to awkward match, or mismatch between a product and the athletes’ image. Hence, the strategic match or fit between athlete endorser and product brand is considered to be one of the most important aspects in maximizing endorsement effectiveness in product, brand or company marketing goals such as enhancement of corporate image (Daneshvary and Schwer, 2000; Smith, 2004; Till and Busier, 1998). Accordingly, this study attempts to develop the Model of Strategic Match in Athlete Endorsement (MSMAE), a systematic evaluation tool for assessment of strategic match or fit between athlete celebrities and products/brands. Specific aim of this study is to examine the image match between an athlete endorser and product by using a three-dimensional visual map.
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- Examining the Visual Map of Athlete Endorsement Effectiveness: A Case Of 2010 FIFA World Cup