Facebook likes and Sport Brand Image: An Empirical Examination of the National Advertising Division’s Coastal Contacts’ Decision


  • Natasha T. Brison Texas A&M University
  • Thomas A. Baker III University of Georgia
  • Kevin K. Byon Indiana University




Eighty-six percent of companies surveyed in the 2013 Social Media Examiner Report indicated that they were using social media for marketing purposes. Similarly, many sport brands are also incorporating social media in their marketing strategies. Like-gating, the process of offering consumers a benefit in exchange for liking their Facebook pages, is a popular method brands use to connect with consumers through Facebook. The National Advertising Division (NAD), a dispute resolution agency for claims related to national advertisements, recently determined that Facebook likes and the number of likes are a form of social endorsement and advised marketers that Facebook likes should be genuine endorsements for the brand. This study tested whether the NAD’s concerns were justified, and thus warranting additional regulatory action by the NAD, by examining whether the number of Facebook likes for a sport brand creates an endorsement effect, thus influencing brand image and consumer purchase intention. The results indicated a strong relationship between the number of Facebook likes, a consumer’s perception of the brand, and likelihood of purchase.






Original Research