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The impact of COVID-19 on athlete branding

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • Zack P. Pedersen
  • Antonio S. Williams
  • Ryan M. Brewer


The COVID-19 pandemic was a conduit of obligatory rest and reevaluation for every entity relating to the sport industry. While the period of limited or no sporting activities was brief, unwelcomed, and devastating to most individuals and organizations, many athletes found ways to enhance their brand equity through capitalizing upon an unprecedented use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL), both in isolation and as sport returned. Through this brand equity (i.e., brand image and brand awareness) capitalization, athletes advanced upon previous momentum and situated themselves (and their brands) as a crucial entity in the sporting realm, even after regulations and mandates relating to the pandemic were (and continue to be) removed. This chapter highlights the many ways in which athletes, by being first movers in many cases, were able to leverage their actions to enhance their brand image and capitalize on more frequent and favorable coverage by leagues, teams, and the media, thereby influencing their brand awareness.

Suggested Citation

  • Zack P. Pedersen & Antonio S. Williams & Ryan M. Brewer, 2022. "The impact of COVID-19 on athlete branding," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 16, pages 191-202, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_16

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