Athletes as PR Spokespeople: the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” PR Campaign Explored

Chyna Teresa Trible

Abstract


The results of the present study were presented at the 2015 International Conference on Communication and Management and examined the National Football League’s (NFL) “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer awareness campaign in the United States. Variables included identification with NFL athletes, exposure to the campaign, NFL fanship, and intention to schedule a breast cancer screening (the action promoted by NFL athletes in this PR campaign). Social media outlets and an e-mail listserv of the School of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, USA were employed to solicit participants (n=119) in a survey. A questionnaire composed of items modified from Brown and Bocarnea’s (2007a) Celebrity-Persona Parasocial Identification Scale to investigate identification with NFL athletes was used. Statistically significant relationships were found between identification with NFL athletes and exposure, identification with NFL athletes and intention to schedule a breast cancer screening, and identification with NFL athletes and NFL fanship. NFL fanship was also significantly related to exposure to the campaign. Implications for future studies analyzing PR campaigns produced by the NFL and FIFA are suggested.


Keywords


Public Relations; Identification; Athlete Spokespeople; Sports Communication; Football

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17349/jmc115108

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