The role of human capital, psychological capital, social capital and leadership capital in building an athlete's global brand image
International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing
Place of Publication
Centre for Innovative Practice / School of Business and Law
This conceptual paper offers a new perspective on developing an athlete's global brand image. In addition to human capital, the framework considers the theoretical lenses of psychological capital, social capital and leadership capital. Human capital is based on the dimensions of an athlete's physical attributes, performance and marketable lifestyle. Psychological capital is illustrated as an athlete's self-efficacy, hope, optimism and resilience. Athletes also need to utilise their social capital, exploiting the brokerage opportunities in linking the networks of sponsors and fans and developing trust in their networks. Leadership capital is illustrated through the provision of opportunities and resources arising from the relationship between athletes and sports leaders. The proposed framework extends studies on brand management of sports celebrities by holistically considering the various forms of capital in building an athlete's global brand image. The implications for the theory and practice of sports marketing and branding are discussed.