Be Like Mike: The Role of Social Identification in Athlete Endorsements

Brad D. Carlson and D. Todd Donavan

Although the product match-up hypothesis has proven useful in predicting endorsement effectiveness, the current study reveals that endorser identification may be a better predictor of endorsement success. Specifically, the findings suggest that it is important for the consumer to have a connection in the form of identification with the endorser. In such cases, even a poor-fitting endorsement may lead to positive brand outcomes. Further, identification with the endorser leads to positive outcomes with team-related intentions as well as a sense of community with other fans. The results offer new theoretical and managerial insights for choosing effective endorsers.