Eric Nichols

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Stephen Shapiro


The purpose of this study was to investigate celebrity product involvement and its relationship with endorsement effectiveness. Due to the increased leverage in creating their own brands, celebrity athletes are increasingly engaging in entrepreneurial endeavors such as collaborations on product development, an investment relationship, and outright ownership and creation of a brand or product. This paper also studied the extent which parasocial interactions and athlete identification may moderate endorsement effectiveness in the form of brand attitudes as well as what role product congruence may play.

Participants were recruited to complete an online survey that exposed them to manipulations of narrative text describing various endorsement relationships with one of four predetermined Celebrity Product Involvement categories. Through analysis of the online survey, the study did not find evidence of Celebrity Product Involvement playing a role in brand attitudes. Additionally, neither parasocial interactions nor athlete identification moderated the effects on brand attitudes. Finally, the category congruence to an athlete was insignificant on brand attitudes.

Contributions to endorsement research were made supporting the utilization of the meaning transfer model (McCracken, 1989) as the primary theory through which endorsement effectiveness should be examined.


© 2023, Eric Nichols