Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Greenham, Craig


athlete brand, human brand, Instagram, self-presentation




Human brands can be described as a set of associations corresponding with a particular person. The creation and maintenance of a strong human brand can shape perceptions of an athlete, and therefore create strong and lasting connections between athletes and consumers. The purpose of this research was to conduct a case study to identify the various elements of National Hockey League (NHL) player P.K. Subban's human brand, as well as determine if and how his changing circumstances and environment has influenced how he presents his brand. A case study of his Instagram content from August 2013 to January 2018 was conducted. The use of both a priori and emergent coding enabled the researcher to analyze the frequency at which these elements were communicated to his Instagram followers, the proportionality of each category, as well as the consistency of how Subban presents himself throughout the many phases of his brand. The researcher attempted to uncover any posting patterns present in Subban's Instagram account as well as any kind of evolution within his human brand over the course of the time period studied. Ultimately, this discovery leads to a greater understanding of Subban's self-marketing methods and tactical insights into online promotional strategies of one of hockey's most marketable players. Because the data spanned a considerable period of time (5 years), the results will be able to determine evolutions (changes within the phases of his brand) or consistencies within Subban's brand as his online presence evolved.