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Personal Sports Branding in the Digital Age: The Case of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Samoylina, Ekaterina
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The rise of digital media has caused transformations and new phenomena in different fields. In the digital age such branches as personal sports branding and nation branding has acquired new opportunities for development. The research focuses on representation of the personal sports brand of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on digital media platforms and its connection to the nation brand of Sweden. Previous research deals with existing studies on personal branding, personal sports branding in digital media, and nation branding. Theoretical framework includes appropriate concepts and perspectives that guide the analysis such as the TOPSTAR model, theory on types and specialization of personal brands, advertising, cultural branding and the nation brand of Sweden. The study combines different research techniques: quantitative content analysis and semiotics. The data is gathered from official accounts of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the mobile application Zlatan Unplugged. Furthermore, the data for analysis is also received from YouTube videos concerning two campaigns: the Volvo XC70 commercial and “805 million names” awareness campaign by World Food Program. The results of the research outline main characteristics of the personal sport brand, show differences in representation of the brand depending on digital media platform and identify the leading attributes of the personal sports brand. The investigation uncovers a connection between the personal sports brand of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the nation brand of Sweden and shows how the personal sports brand functions on the cultural level. The thesis might be interesting for both researchers and practitioners in the spheres of media and communication studies, personal sports branding and nation branding. 

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