Online C2C Interactions with Sports Brands: Insights from the #Mo Salah Brand

  • Noha El-BassiounyEmail author
  • Sara Hamed
  • Hadeer Hammad
  • Hagar Adib
  • Nesma Ammar
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Online customer-to-customer interactions with sports brands on social media are gaining momentum in recent years. The salience of online brand communities in influencing sport spectators’ attitudinal dispositions warrants further investigation into the phenomenon of sports and athlete brand development. The Mo Salah brand has been emerging as an iconic athlete brand in both popular offline and online/social media. Based on the brand’s resonance online, which is a reflection of high brand equity, this research aims at exploring the cognitive, affective, and conative attitudes of football fans affiliated with the Mo Salah brand and extrapolating on the image of the brand in terms of athletic performance, attractive appearance, and marketable lifestyle as an extension to the work of Arai, Ko, and Ross (Sport Management Review 17:97–106, 2014). The research utilizes qualitative methods; particularly netnography and content analysis of online communications on social media for the #Mo Salah brand.


Online brand communities C2C interactions Social media Sports brand development Athlete brand image Mo Salah 


  1. Abosag, I., Roper, S., & Hind, D. (2012). Examining the relationship between brand emotion and brand extension among supporters of professional football clubs. European Journal of Marketing, 46(9).Google Scholar
  2. Aggarwal, P., & McGill, A. L. (2011). When brands seem human, do humans act like brands? Automatic behavioral priming effects of brand anthropomorphism. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(2), 307–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ansoff, H. I. (1957). Strategies for diversification. Harvard Business Review, 35(5), 113–124.Google Scholar
  4. Arai, A., Ko, Y., & Ross, S. (2014). Branding athletes: Exploration and conceptualization of athlete brand image. Sport Management Review, 17, 97–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baena, V. (2016). Online and mobile marketing strategies as drivers of brand love in sports teams: Findings from Real Madrid. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 17(3), 202–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bassam, T. (2018). Liverpool star Mo Salah hops in with Uber Egypt. Sports Pro Media [Online]. Last accessed March 14, 2018, from
  7. Carlson, B. D., & Donavan, D. T. (2013). Human brands in sport: Athlete brand personality and identification. Journal of Sport Management, 27(3), 193–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carlson, B. D., Todd Donavan, D., & Cumiskey, K. J. (2009). Consumer-brand relationships in sport: Brand personality and identification. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 37(4), 370–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chadwick, S., & Beech, J. (2007). Introduction: The marketing of sport. In J. Beech & S. Chadwick (Eds.), The marketing of sport (pp. 3–22). Harlow: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  10. Chadwick, S., & Holt, M. (2006). Building global sports brands: Key success factors in the marketing of the UEFA Champions League. In M. Desbordes (Ed.), Marketing and football: An international perspective (pp. 22–50). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
  11. Chanavat, N., & Bodet, G. (2009). Internationalisation and sport branding strategy: A French perception of the Big Four brands. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 12(4), 460–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dholakia, N., & Zang, D. (2004). Online qualitative research in the age of e-commerce: Data sources and approaches. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(2). Last accessed March 18, 2018, from
  13. Epley, N., Waytz, A., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2007). On seeing human: A three-factor theory of anthropomorphism. Psychological Review, 114(4), 864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Esch, F., Langner, T., Schmoitt, B., & Geus, P. (2006). Are brands forever? How brand knowledge and relationships affect current and future purchases. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 15(2), 98–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Filo, K., Lock, D., & Karg, A. (2015). Sport and social media research: A review. Sport Management Review, 18(2), 166–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Giannoulakis, C., & Apostolopoulou, A. (2011). Implementation of a multi-brand strategy in action sports. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 20(3), 171–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Green, M. R. (2016). The impact of social networks in the development of a personal sports brand. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 6(3), 274–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gruner, R., Homburg, C., & Lukas, B. (2014). Firm-hosted online brand communities and new product success. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 42(1), 29–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guido, G., & Peluso, A. (2015). Brand anthropomorphism: Conceptualization, measurement, and impact on brand personality and loyalty. Journal of Brand Management, 22(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hart, P. M., Jones, S. R., & Royne, M. B. (2013). The human lens: How anthropomorphic reasoning varies by product complexity and enhances personal value. Journal of Marketing Management, 29(1–2), 105–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hennig-Thurau, T., Malthouse, E., Friege, C., Gensler, S., Lobschat, L., Rangaswamy, A., & Skiera, B. (2010). The impact of new media on customer relationships. Journal of Service Research, 13(3), 311–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hill, J., & Vincent, J. (2006). Globalization and sports branding: The case of Manchester United. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 7(3), 61–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hoeber, L., & Shaw, S. (2017). Contemporary qualitative research methods in sport management. Sport Management Review, 20(1), 4–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hogg, M. (2016). Social identity theory. In S. McKeown et al. (Eds.), Understanding peace and conflict through social identity theory. Peace Psychology Book Series. Switzerland: Springer International. Last accessed February 26, 2018, from
  25. Hsieh, H., & Shannon, S. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Japutra, A., Ekinci, Y., & Simkin, L. (2014). Exploring brand attachment, its determinants and outcomes. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 22(7), 616–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Japutra, A., Ekinci, Y., Simkin, L., & Nguyen, B. (2014). The dark side of brand attachment: A conceptual framework of brand attachment’s detrimental outcomes. The Marketing Review, 14(3), 245–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Karjaluoto, H., Munnukka, J., & Salmi, M. (2016). How do brand personality, identification, and relationship length drive loyalty in sports? Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 26(1), 50–71. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Keller, K. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 57, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Koronios, K., Psiloutsikou, M., Kriemadis, A., Zervoulakos, P., & Leivaditi, E. (2016). Sport sponsorship: The impact of sponsor Image on purchase intentions of fans. Journal of Promotion Management, 22(2), 238–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kowalczyk, C. M., & Pounders, K. R. (2016). Transforming celebrities through social media: The role of authenticity and emotional attachment. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 25(4), 345–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kozinets, R. (2002). The field behind the screen: Using netnography for marketing research in online communities. Journal of Marketing Research, 39(1), 61–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kunkel, T., Doyle, J. P., & Funk, D. C. (2014). Exploring sport brand development strategies to strengthen consumer involvement with the product—The case of the Australian A-League. Sport Management Review, 17(4), 470–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Laksmidewi, D., Susianto, H., & Afiff, A. Z. (2017). Anthropomorphism in advertising: The effect of anthropomorphic product demonstration on consumer purchase intention. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 22(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Letheren, K., Kuhn, K. A. L., Lings, I., & Pope, N. K. L. (2016). Individual difference factors related to anthropomorphic tendency. European Journal of Marketing, 50(5/6), 973–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Li, H., Jin, H., & Yuan, G. (2011). Research on brand equity of sports—Take the replacement of the brand lining as example. Journal of Sustainable Development, 4(1), 207–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Libai, B., Bolton, R., Bügel, M., Ruyter, K., Gotz, O., Risselada, H., & Stephen, A. (2010). Customer-to-customer interactions: Broadening the scope of word of mouth research. Journal of Service Research, 13(3), 267–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Maecker, O., Barrot, C., & Becker, J. (2016). The effect of social media interactions on customer relationship management. Business Research, 9, 133–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Munnukka, J., Karjaluoto, H., Mahlamäki, T., & Hokkanen, V. (2017). Effects of social media on consumers’ sports brand experiences and loyalty. In M. Stieler (Ed.), Creating marketing magic and innovative future marketing trends, developments in marketing science: Proceedings of the academy of marketing science (pp. 1051–1064). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Park, C., MacInnis, D., Priester, J., Eisingerich, A., & Iacobucci, D. (2010). Brand attachment and brand attitude strength: Conceptual and empirical differentiation of two critical brand equity drivers. Journal of Marketing, 74, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Portal, S., Abratt, R., & Bendixen, M. (2018). Building a human brand: Brand anthropomorphism unravelled. Business Horizons, 61(3), 367–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Puzakova, M., & Kwak, H. (2017). Should anthropomorphized brands engage customers? The impact of social crowding on brand preferences. Journal of Marketing, 81(6), 99–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rahman, K., Karpen, I., Reid, M., & Yuksel, U. (2014). Customer-to-customer interactions and word of mouth: Conceptual extensions and empirical investigations. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 23(4), 287–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rauschnabel, P. A., & Ahuvia, A. C. (2014). You’re so lovable: Anthropomorphism and brand love. Journal of Brand Management, 21(5), 372–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schiffman, L. G., & Kanuk, L. L. (2004). Consumer behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall International.Google Scholar
  46. Scoop Empire Online. (2018). Check out Uber’s latest teaser starring Egypt’s favorite football icon. Last accessed March 14, 2018, from
  47. Shuv-Ami, A., Vrontis, D., & Thrassou, A. (2018). Brand lovemarks scale of sport fans. Journal of Promotion Management, 24(2), 215–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spencer, J. (2018). Liverpool star Mo Salah features in ‘Say No To Drugs’ campaign in Egypt... and the rehabilitation hotline has 400% increase in calls! Last accessed April 16, 2018, from
  49. Stinnett, R. C., Hardy, E. E., & Waters, R. D. (2013). Who are we? The impacts of anthropomorphism and the humanization of nonprofits on brand personality. International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, 10(1), 31–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stokburger-Sauer, N. E., & Teichmann, K. (2014). The relevance of consumer—Brand identification in the team sport industry. Marketing Review St. Gallen, 31(2), 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Think Marketing. (2017). Mo Salah 2018 campaign should be pretty much as Vodafone brand as it gets. Last accessed March 14, 2018, from
  52. Thomson, M. (2006). Human brands: Investigating antecedents to consumers’ strong attachments to celebrities. Journal of Marketing, 70(3), 104–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thomson, M., MacInnis, D. J., & Park, C. W. (2005). The ties that bind: Measuring the strength of consumers’ emotional attachment to brands. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(1), 77–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Trusov, M., Bucklin, R., & Pauwels, K. (2009). Effects of word of mouth versus traditional marketing: Findings from an internet social networking site. Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 90–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tuškej Lovšin, U., & Podnar, K. (2018). Consumers’ identification with corporate brands: Brand prestige, anthropomorphism and engagement in social media. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 27(1), 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wakefield, L., & Bennett, G. (2017). Sports fan experience: Electronic word-of-mouth in ephemeral social media. Sport Management Review. Last accessed March 16, 2018, from CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Watkins, B. (2014). An integrated approach to sports branding: Examining the influence of social media on brand outcomes. International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications, 6(2), 30–40.Google Scholar
  58. Yoshida, M., Gordon, B., Heere, B., & James, J. D. (2015). Fan community identification: An empirical examination of its outcomes in Japanese professional sport. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 24(2), 105–119.Google Scholar
  59. Yousaf, A., Gupta, A., & Mishra, A. (2017). Sport team brand-equity index: A new measurement. Journal of Indian Business Research, 9(2), 169–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noha El-Bassiouny
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sara Hamed
    • 1
  • Hadeer Hammad
    • 1
  • Hagar Adib
    • 1
  • Nesma Ammar
    • 1
  1. 1.German University in CairoNew Cairo CityEgypt

Personalised recommendations