Athletes’ Personal Branding on Social Media: A Case Study of Eileen Gu during the Beijing Olympics

Document Type : Original Research


1 Jiangsu Ocean University, China

2 The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China & Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

3 Xi Hua University, China


This study examines how athletes use social media to shape and promote their personal brand, employing the case of Eileen Gu, a Chinese American skier who won three medals at the 2022 Beijing Olympics on behalf of China. Employing a content analysis methodology, the present research explores the evolution of Eileen Gu’s personal brand and the molding of her media image through a comparative examination of her Instagram and Sina Weibo posts before and after the 2022 Beijing Olympics. In addition, grounded in semiotics theory, the study identifies key themes and patterns within Eileen Gu’s social media content. Eileen Gu’s narrative serves as a pertinent context for exploring the dynamics of personal brand development within the intersection of sports and social media. By examining the personal branding strategies of Eileen Gu on different social media platforms, the present study provides unique opportunities and interactions in transnational athletes’ personal branding processes.


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