Corporate Sponsorship and the Consumer Socialization of African American Women Athletes: A Qualitative Study

Tahla M Wade, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

African-American consumption is a unique feature of the American consumer market. A characteristic of African American consumers is their participation in conspicuous consumption. A look into the sociological concept of consumer socialization can drive insight to what initiates purchases of this group. However, this is not studied as an evolving process. Over time, individuals may encounter several new influences that affect their consumer socialization and purchase behavior, including the possibility of corporate sponsorship. To explore this evolution, I examine if corporate sponsorships affect the consumer socialization of African-American women collegiate athletes. Fifteen NCAA Division I African-American women athletes from a mid-major, southwestern university participated in the study. Using photovoice, respondents documented personal athletic clothing purchases made while being a collegiate athlete. Interviews were conducted to gain more insight into the photos taken and what influences purchase behavior. Results show that the agents of consumer socialization for collegiate athletes were family, social media, and sponsorship and that they interpreted the sponsorship as gaining statuses. These ideas are explored through the lenses of intersectionality, false consciousness, and the culture industry.^

Subject Area

Marketing|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Wade, Tahla M, "Corporate Sponsorship and the Consumer Socialization of African American Women Athletes: A Qualitative Study" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10283789.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI10283789

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