Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2017


Athlete endorsement industry continues to expand fast. Reports argued country of origin could be a cue to explain the endorsement gap among athletes from different nations. With the growing marketing potential in athlete brand, it is imperative to take country of origin as a cue to predict endorsement value. The conceptual model from Arai et al (2013; 2014) on athlete brand equity is adopted in this study.

This study adopts GDP per capita as the instrument to measure the market size of country of origin, and relies on data from Openhorse and Forbes on the Top 100 Highest paid athletes in 2016. The study consists of a designed questionnaire with items from the scale of MABI (Arai, 2013). 23 HESS master students form panel of experts in this study, and are randomly assigned into 7 groups to evaluate on 15 randomly selected athletes.

Regression analysis is conducted to the collected data using SPSS 24.0. The results support the hypothesis that country of origin has moderating effect on athlete brand equity and endorsement value. This paper also finds that the importance of athlete performance is much higher than that of attractive appearance and marketable lifestyle to predict endorsement value when GDP per capita is higher.


athlete brand equity; endorsement value; country of origin; moderator; GDP

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lunhua Mao

Second Committee Member

John Barnes

Third Committee Member

Alfredo Martinez