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Craft, BrandanWhy Branding Can Increase a Professional Athlete's Value: A Rationale for Designer Engagement
Master of Fine Arts, The Ohio State University, 2008, Industrial, Interior and Visual Communic Design

Brands allow consumers to make choices. They help them differentiate one individual, business, or product from the other by delivering a promise that leads to expectations and perceptions. The value of a brand is measured by this perception.

What the consumer perceives a business to be, not the business's perception, is that business's brand. Designers play a large part in influencing this perception by creating brand identity systems that become the tangible expression of a business's identity. There is an opportunity for designers to play a larger role in a business's success by capitalizing on the increasing reliance on branding to assist in wealth generation.

Professional athletes are small businesses. They are distinct individuals that ultimately rely on their fans to build wealth. The fan's perception of an athlete, that athlete's brand, influences the differentiation of one player from another. The decision to invest in the brand, whether it is to watch a game on television, buy tickets to the game, or purchase a player's jersey after the game, rests on this perception. Designers can help professional athletes formulate strategies to positively influence their brand.

Strong branding could go a long way in increasing an athlete's off-the-field opportunities. Since the career span of a professional athlete is relatively short, shared productivity between athletes and designers could generate increased, and more sustainable income for athletes. Designers could also benefit from these increased opportunities. If brands allow consumer's to make choices, designers influence what choices these consumers make with keen knowledge of consumer behavior and sound design principals.


R. Brian Stone (Committee Chair); Noel Mayo (Committee Member); Peter Chan (Committee Member)


Design; Marketing


brand; brands; athlete; professional athlete; virtual team; designer; brand value