While previous research focused on social media and student-athletes, there is a lack of knowledge about positive functions of social media use for student-athletes, especially personal branding purposes. Thus, this study aimed to explore how student-athletes perceive and use social media for personal branding purposes. A total of 11 student-athletes at a Division I university participated in semi-structured interviews. Considering the exploratory nature of the study, a qualitative inquiry and a phenomenology approach were employed to grasp an overall understanding of student-athletes’ personal branding via social media. The self-presentation theory was adopted to help understand student-athletes’ use of social media. Emerging themes included benefits and barriers of social media use, social media strategies, and concerns about negative consequences of social media. Findings from this study shed light on the importance of increasing awareness and knowledge of the concept of personal branding via social media for student-athletes. These findings also call for more effective social media training or education programs that can foster student-athletes’ positive attitude toward social media use for personal branding.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License