Natasha T. Brison, Thomas A. Baker III, and Kevin K. Byon, Facebook Likes and Sport Brand Image: An Empirical Examination of the National Advertising Division’s Coastal Contacts Decision, 25 J. Legal Aspects Sport 104 (2015)
Do Facebook likes represent a genuine endorsement of a sports team? From the abstract:
The National Advertising Division (NAD), a dispute resolution agency for claims related to national advertisements, recently determined that Facebook likes and the number of likes are a form of social endorsement and advised marketers that Facebook likes should be genuine endorsements for the brand. This study tested whether the NAD’s concerns were justified, and thus warranting additional regulatory action by the NAD, by examining whether the number of Facebook likes for a sport brand creates an endorsement effect, thus influencing brand image and consumer purchase intention. The results indicated a strong relationship between the number of Facebook likes, a consumer’s perception of the brand, and likelihood of purchase.