The Effects of Self-Brand Connection and Self-Construal on Consumers’ Psychological and Behavioral Responses to Athlete Scandals

Akiko Arai
Yong Jae Ko
Akira Asada
and Daniel Connaughton

Athlete scandals are of broad and current interest in the sport industry and literature. Based on brand relationship theory, the present research, consisting of Studies 1 and 2, concerns the effects of consumers’ self-brand connection to an athlete and their self-construal on their psychological and behavioral responses to an athlete scandal. The results of Study 1 (experiment) suggest that people with a strong self-connection to the athlete and interdependent self-construal experience a greater self-identity threat than people lacking these attributes. Study 2 (survey) reveals that people with a strong self-connection and interdependent self-construal are more likely to advocate for an athlete after a scandal. The results imply that some people maintain their support for an athlete involved in a scandal not necessarily because they are not influenced by scandal information but because they want to protect and restore their threatened self-worth.