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Impact of Negative Media Coverage of Nike's Spokespeople on College Students' Brand Perceptions
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This qualitative case study examines college student's perceptions of Nike after negative media coverage after three Nike-sponsored athletes including Adrian Peterson, Ryan Braun and Tiger Woods. The data was collected by conducting one-on- one interview and a focus group while tracking details in a researcher’s notebook with students at the University of Nevada, Reno. Thematic coding was used to extract information from the primary research. The finding of the research was that college student's perceptions of Nike were only minimally affected by negative media coverage of the Nike spokespeople. Factors such as price, experience with the brand, quality, and fashion-appeal had more effect on purchase intent within college students buying in the athletic supply industry than sponsorship. Many variables have the potential to influence college students’ perceptions of Nike, but the brand is so big and well established in their minds that it is virtually impossible for sponsorships to damage its reputation. This research might hold significance for marketing professionals working in the athletic industry who target college students.