Communicating through fitness: An examination of the use of athletes to communicate fitness in print media

Antonio Williams, Tywan Martin, Rebecca Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The current study examined images of celebrity athletes in Men's Health Magazine. The purpose of this empirical investigation was to assess the usage of pictorial images of celebrity athletes-and models portraying athletes-in the popular print publication to develop a better understanding of how the magazine uses images to communicate and market to consumers. This study examined the frequency in which the magazine pictured celebrity athlete images, the utility of those images found in the magazine, and the agenda setting implications of the images. A content analysis of the images of celebrity athletes and models portraying athletes during a two-year timeframe (i.e., 2010-2011) of Men's Health Magazine was conducted. A total of 908 images were coded. The results revealed that the use of models portraying athletes outnumbered celebrity endorsers and the magazine frequently employed sport-specific action photos in comparison to posed shots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Athletes
  • Communication
  • Fitness
  • Print media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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