Purpose: This study aims to examine the influence of five sports celebrity personality (SCP) attributes – attractiveness, expertise level, credibility, trustworthiness and character – on consumers' purchase intentions (CPI). It identifies celebrity brand congruence (CBC), endorsed brand celebrity (EBC) and transfer of brand image (TBI) as antecedents of CPI. Design/methodology/approach: The purposive sampling technique was used to collect the data from 838 respondents. This study developed a multidimensional construct for SCP. The covariance-based structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used to examine the relationship between SCP and the endorsed brand. The study used CBC as a mediator and EBC and TBI as partial mediators. The direct and indirect effect of SCP on CPI was investigated using CBC, EBC and TBI as mediators. Findings: This study supports the importance of three antecedents (i.e. CBC, EBC and TBI) on CPI. It finds congruence across SCP and CBC variables, and a positive impact of SCP on EBC and TBI variables. Also, it exhibits a significant direct effect of CBC on EBC and TBI, whereas the direct effect of CBC on CPI is not substantial. The indirect effect of CBC through mediating variables EBC and TBI found to be significant. Research limitations/implications: This study concludes that sports celebrity endorsement is essential to transfer the positive celebrity image to the endorsed brand image. However, it is not merely sufficient to influence the buyers' purchase conduct; the brand credibility additionally assumes to take a role in changing their behavioral intentions. Originality/value: This study contributes to the sports marketing literature by its novelty in analyzing the sports celebrity personality at a multidimensional level. It uses SCP's different attributes as one construct and studies its impact on CPI by taking CBC, EBC and TBI as mediators. The results of this study equip sports management professionals with the knowledge to build better long-term relationships with consumers. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.