Personal Brands of Professional and Collegiate Female Athletes
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Countless factors can affect an athlete’s career. Of these factors, personal branding is one of the only factors that an athlete can control in her career. Through interviews with 13 female student-athletes at the University of Oregon, this study examines the degree to which female student-athletes are influenced by the personal brands of professional female athletes. The qualitative data revealed that these student-athletes recognize the overall importance of having a personal brand for both athletic careers and non-athletic careers. The study participants voiced that they admire professional athletes with personal brands based on family, faith, community, and an overall positive attitude. However, some student-athletes did not feel like they received a completely genuine portrayal of these athletes’ because their personal brands only present one surface of them. Interestingly, all student-athletes have trouble identifying the themes and strength of their own personal brands; some even doubt that they have a personal brand yet.