The paper looks specifically at the role that celebrity personalities play in bonding brand attributes and community networks together. Athlete endorsers are frequently used as role models for positioning sports products and brands because of the social influence and community ideology attached to sport and because image and reputation foster brand identification. Studies have found cognitive associations are linked to the athletes’ personal characteristics instilling
trust, power, status and credibility
into the product offerings. Sport branded products imply communality and are novel because of the opportunities for managers to use professional role models to target specific socialisation outcomes. Iconic sporting figures have also become symbols in the promotion of a wide range of non-sports brands – e.g. David Beckham - Pepsi Cola; Gary Lineker -Walkers’ Crisps. Celebrity endorsement provides an opportunity for image transfer and co-creation (Sujan and Bettman, 1989; Brooks and Harris, 1998; Erdogan, 1999; Hsu and McDonald, 2002).