Personal Branding on Instagram: The Challenges Encountered by Saudi Women Exercisers


Some athletes have attracted millions of audiences, even if being namely recognized. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar JR., and David Beckham have the most Instagram followers in the world. Such applications allow users to establish their profiles to communicate with each other by several actions such as follows, comments, likes, etc. Currently, athletes are utilizing Online Social Networks for self-branding purposes; thus, many studies examined this practice. From the rising of Model of Athlete Brand Image MABi offline practices by Arai, Ko, and Kaplanidou (2013) to the development of online engagements by Doyle, Su, and Kunkel (2020), all studies concerned examining three main categories to build an athlete-brand; athletic performance, attractive appearance, and marketable lifestyles. I am a Saudi woman personal trainer who uses Instagram to build my brand image. Thus, I aim to conduct an analytic auto-ethnography reflecting on my personal experience as an insider and understand other Saudi women athletes as outsiders. Considerably, many studies investigated athlete-branding on social media built their understanding following the MABI; however, the cultural aspect is not highlighted yet. Muslim women are culturally conservative; they disguise their bodies in public as a religious practice. My qualitative descriptive research aims to fill the gap of cultural motives, outcomes, and challenges of online athlete-branding following the five key features of Analytic Auto-ethnography methodology. To conduct my study, I aim to reach a thick description by collecting data through focus groups, in-depth interviews, and online observations of my own and my participants' Instagram visual content.

Author Information
Wesam Basabain, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2021
Stream: Arts - Media Arts Practices: Television

This paper is part of the ECAH2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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