There is perhaps no better example of media created frenzy over heroism and celebrity than in the world of professional women’s tennis. Two of the most recognizable personalities, Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova, are known for very different reasons: Williams because of her on-court success and her rivalry with her sister Serena, Kournikova because of her on-court failures yet curiously strong endorsement success. Survey research was undertaken to examine perceptions of both women, to determine a) how society views them (as heroes or celebrities), and b) to determine their marketing worth, with regards to consumer intention to purchase an endorsed product. The research was conducted in three phases during 2001-2002, with a research framework being constructed consistent with previous studies of this nature.
Shuart, J. (2004). The media dichotomy of sports heroes and sport celebrities: The marketing of professional women's tennis players. (pp. 145-151). In Proceedings of the 2003 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-317. (Murdy, James, Comp., Ed.). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station.