Enhanced Brand Credibility of American Athletes with International Teammates

This study explored how the market value of American athletes may be influenced by the presence of international teammates. Specifically, the study examined: (a) Chinese consumers’ feelings of attachment to American National Basketball Association (NBA) players who have a distinguished Chinese teammate; (b) the relationship between Chinese consumers’ attachment level to the American teammates and their credibility as product endorsers; and (c) whether Chinese consumers’ evaluation of athlete endorsement differs for sports products and non-sports products. Respondents felt more attached to an American NBA player with a distinguished Chinese teammate compared to one with a distinguished American teammate. More-over, canonical analysis revealed that there was a significant relationship between attachment level and credibility level. An American NBA player having a distinguished Chinese teammate was perceived to be more credible as a product endorser than an American NBA player who does not have one. Additionally, when the American NBA player endorsed a sports product, respondents considered the endorsement to be more credible and showed a greater purchase intention.