Author(s)

Kyle Gallagher

Date Approved

2-4-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Basso, Joseph

Subject(s)

Advertising and youth

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purpose of this research project is to examine the motivations, influences and purchase-decision behavior of adolescent boys regarding athletic footwear and apparel. Due to its supremacy in the athletic apparel and equipment industry, the author focused on Nike during this study. The researcher collected a convenience sample of fifteen adolescent boys residing in Southern New Jersey to participate in a focus group session and telephone interviews, and complete a 24-question survey. The researcher segmented the population into three groups, using age ranges as the parameters. Group A consisted of five boys ages 10-12 years old, Group B consisted of five boys ages 13-15 years old, and Group C consisted of five boys ages 16-18 years old. The data collected in the original research, in addition to the secondary research, suggested that key influencers and marketers influence younger adolescent males more easily than older adolescent males as consumers of athletic footwear. In addition, adolescent male consumers, regardless of age, prefer accessing the Internet over any other medium to learn more information about a particular product. When advertising to this target market, marketers should elicit two-way communication to be the most effective.

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