The purpose of this study was to extend previous literature on student-athlete college choice by examining part of the recruitment process as a precursor to student-athlete decision-making. More specifically, this exploratory study aimed to empirically examine the extent to which apparel sponsorships affect student-athlete recruitment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten football players at a state-supported NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institution in the Rocky Mountain region. An inductive approach was used in identifying three emergent themes. These themes suggest that football players at this institution did not hold the apparel and equipment sponsorship as a deciding factor for the commitment to a school, though they did hold strong opinions towards New Balance, and the other three brands referenced during the interviews. The values expressed by these participants can provide a basis for future apparel and equipment contracts at this institution. As this study was exploratory in nature, the findings lay the framework for similar research across gender, sport, school, and conference.


NCAA, Student-Athlete, Recruitment, Apparel, Brand, Qualitative

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Davies is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Colorado's Sport Administration program. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Melissa J. Davies at Email: Melissa.Davies@unco.edu

Dr. Burakowski is an Assistant Professor at St. John Fisher College. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Katharine A. Burakowski at Email: kburakowski@sjfc.edu

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