Yiran Su
Bradley J. Baker
Jason P. Doyle
and Thilo Kunkel

Athlete brands exist within a network of brand relationships. Thus, considering the joint influences of related brands at different levels (league, team, and athlete) is essential for understanding how athlete brands are built. We focus on growth factors impacting athletes’ social media followings (Twitter and Instagram) around the critical juncture of team transfer periods. We use data from the NFL Draft , because this moment in time provides a key opportunity to capture combined infl uences from league-, team-, athlete-, and platform-related factors on athlete brand development. Through...Read more

Thilo Kunkel and Rui Biscaia

One of the most valuable assets a sport entity possesses is its brand. However, existing sport branding research has largely examined brands at an individual level and not taken into account the relationships be-tween connected brands or the actual behavioral outcomes of branding. Th is article provides an overview of the current state of sport branding research; proposes an extended conceptualization of sport brand archi-tecture within a sport brand ecosystem framework to guide future examination of sport branding research; introduces the four articles published in this special issue; and...Read more