Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 202

Full Length Research Paper

“I am not your fan”: The role of projection and identification processes in the depreciation of public sports figures

Robin Recours1*, Athanasios Pappous2, Pierre Dantin3 and Jean Griffet3
  1UPRES EA CAPS, EPSYLON, Université de Montpellier, 700 avenue du Pic saint Loup, 34090 Montpellier, France. 2Centre for Sports Studies, University of Kent, Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime, United Kingdom. 3Institut des Sciences du Mouvement, Etienne-Jules Marey UMR 6233, Université de la Méditerranée, 163 avenue de Luminy, Case Postale 910, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 4C2513F11255
  • Vol.3(2), pp. 58 - 70, February 2011
  •  Accepted: 12 January 2011
  •  Published: 28 February 2011



The image of sports figures has become an important issue for media and communication research. Nevertheless, even if several studies in the literature focus on the idea of stardom in sports, most of them concern athletes who are well-appreciated by their fans. Rare are the studies dealing with sports figures who are depreciated. This research demonstrates the strong influence of fans' ideal self-images and motives for playing a sport on the evaluative reaction toward these icons. The researchers surveyed 878 adolescents, a representative sample of youth from Southern France. Their motives for playing a sport were evaluated by the QSMP2001, a validated instrument that measures the “distinctiveness”, the “sociability” and the “play to the limits” dimensions. Qualifying variables included age, gender and status. Results indicate that depreciated sports figures are disparaged because they do not adhere to the fans’ ideal self-images. This paper could inform marketers as they make decisions about product endorsement by sports superstars.


Key words: Stardom, celebrities, sports figures, preferences, motivation.

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