ESTABLISHING ATHLETE BRAND in CRIKET: FAN’S PERCEPTION ABOUT FOREIGN CRICKETERS in PAKISTAN SUPER LEAGUE (PSL)
The purpose of this study was to investigate Pakistani fans in the context of athlete branding regarding foreign cricketers in the country’s first ever cricket league. Athlete brand attributes and athlete brand implication discussed with 15 fans of foreign cricketers via semi-structured interview. The components of athlete brand are related with on-field attributes (behavior, team, achievements, style of play and skills) and off-field attributes (physical attraction, lifestyle, personal appeal, ethnicity and entertainment). In turn, implication of athlete branding contributed in the domain of athlete loyalty (media following, creating their own narratives, positive word-of-mouth, resistance to change and commitment), athlete’s team loyalty (team substitution, supporting multiple teams and revenue generation) and athlete’s sponsors loyalty. The implications of these findings for building and managing an athlete’s brand are also discussed.