Date of Award

Winter 12-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Fei Xue

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Lindsey Maxwell

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Dave Davies

Committee Member 3 School



The objective of this study is to determine how effective the newly enforced NIL deals among college athletes are in terms of social media advertising. With the rise of social media and the amount of people using social media daily, it is imperative for advertisers to understand various ways of promoting brands on social media. A 2x2x2 mixed experimental design was used to investigate the effects of college athletes-sponsored Instagram posts among college students, specifically source relevance, product relevance, and message authenticity. Findings suggested positive effects of using college athletes as sponsors. Source relevance, product relevance, and message authenticity played a significant role in determining consumers’ attitude toward the sponsored posts and brands. Limitations and directions for future research were also discussed.

Available for download on Monday, December 09, 2024