Category Archives: Athlete Branding

Wheaties Athlete Endorsements

Wheaties: The Growth of Athlete Endorsements on Their Infamous Boxes

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For at least eight decades, the General Mills cereal brand has been known for showcasing the latest and hottest athletes to represent multiple sporting events on the front of their boxes. Just recently, an Olympic diving champion named Greg Louganis has been reported to be getting his turn on the front of the famous Wheaties Box for his accomplishments and gold medals that he earned in 1985. Given that society has changed its tune a little bit and evolved into a more open minded community, Louganis believes that his chance to represent the cereal brand was delayed due to the fact that he is a homosexual man, and that was a taboo topic during the 80s.

wheaties

This lead to the question of how exactly General Mills chooses an athlete to have their image on the front of one of their boxes. Over the years there have been several gold medalists that participated in many different Olympic sports, yet it seems that only a select few actually get the opportunity. An HBS professor named Anita Elberse who has studied the strategies of marketing decisions for companies believes that they often opt to choose a person who does not have much reputational risk. For example, Mary Lou Retton was a champion ice skater who was still a teenager and was a great example for other young people. Whereas equally qualified athletes like Louganis who might be gay, could possibly deter customers from buying the product since society was very critical of that lifestyle during that time period.

At the end of the day, it seems that General Mills is trying to roll with the times and please its customers by choosing faces that society would openly accept all around. Since there were much different standards back in the 80s, it’s a great thing that we’re more open minded these days to include other athletes who live their lives a little differently.

US Women Soccer Endorsements

Women Soccer Players Continue to Push For Equality, Finally Set to Score Olympic-Size Endorsements

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It’s no secret that men’s sports in general tend to gain more momentum and popularity than women’s do, however it’s needless to say that when it comes to soccer, the U.S. Women’s National Team is tough to beat. Last year they came home as the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champions while their male counterparts have failed to break much ice lately in their own careers. This team of women are also being even more respected for the things that they are attempting to accomplish off the field, as there is a distinct pay inequality when it comes to the two genders. Their complaints are being taken to an even higher level, as they have officially filled out the paperwork on the matter and delivered it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to fill in that gap between male athletes and females athletes wages.

Women Soccer Players Endorsements

It would be safe to say that probably the top five women on the USWNT are getting paid even higher than some of their lesser-known teammates. Athletes like Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd have made it to the top of the highest paid on the team. In addition to their salaries, many of them have been given great endorsement opportunities as brand ambassadors for highly respected companies throughout the country. With the summer Olympics coming up here in Rio, Brazil, there is a good chance that every member on the roster of the USWNT will have a chance to get paid for endorsements somewhere.

So it is needless to say that everyone who is a soccer fan is looking forward to seeing the Women on Team USA make some big strides for their country this summer in Brazil. Not only are these athletes fierce on the field, but they are also fierce off the pitch as they are working hard to ensure that females don’t get compensated any less than male athletes.

james-harden-trolli3

Athlete Branding 101: James Harden Lands Endorsement With Trolli Candy

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Houston Rockets James Harden has recently signed on to be a brand ambassador for the Trolli Candy company. Trolli’s slogan is “Weirdly Awesome”, and due to the fact that Harden likes to take the path less traveled with a lot of things, they found this to be a great partnership to pursue. The head of brand strategy at Ferarra/Trolli Jill Manchester spoke out and said that their candy is about “celebrating uniqueness in all of us”, and the fact that they are a little offbeat too is one of the initial reasons they knew that Harden would be a great fit. Manchester also commented that Harden’s energy and overall persona is what they feel is a true representation of Trolli. Everyone on board is convinced that the basketball player is going to be a key component in pushing the brand to the next level and it should be a fun venture for everyone involved.

The Los Angeles, California native was named a McDonald’s All-American player during his high school years, and he continued with his athletic talents by attending Arizona State University where he played for two years. Harden entered the 2009 NBA Draft and was selected as the 3rd overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder, with whom he stayed with for three seasons before signing on with the Houston Rockets in 2012. In addition to that, he is an American Olympian and has represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympic games where he and the team brought home the gold. Harden also traveled with Team USA to the 2014 World Cup of Basketball Games in Spain where they won the gold medal as well. The four-time NBA All-Star continues to be one of the biggest names in the NBA right now and is known for his wacky, fun personality and iconic beard.

Candy lovers can expect to see Harden in Trolli advertisements in the near future, and it should give the brand the boost that they have worked so hard to achieve.

Celebrities Into Super Bowl Ads

Car Brands Turn to Celebrities For Their Super Bowl Ads

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It’s been found that when a television audience sees a celebrity in a commercial, they don’t really think much of it unless that big name appears to be having a honest and genuine time with the product they are endorsing. That is what the automaker Mini believes, so they went the extra mile this year to find celebrities who have had a relationship or experience with their vehicles to help them creatively make a commercial that is due to be shown during the 50th Super Bowl coming up in just a couple of weeks.

Celebrities Into Super Bowl AdsThe strategy is a logical one, because most people like to believe that the actors and actresses in a promotional advert are honest reaction to what they’re selling. In this year’s commercial, Mini went ahead and recruited six well-known faces to be in their commercial- Abby Wambach, Serena Williams, Tony Hawk, Harvey Keitel, T-Pain, and Randy Johnson.

The 30-second clip is going to feature the six celebrities in a way that people will be excited to see them having fun with driving the Mini instead of down to business at work. The main goal of this commercial is to kick off Mini’s six month campaign that will carry the theme of “Defy Labels”, because they are certain that once a person drives one of their cars, all of those assumptions and “labels” on the small car will be completely thrown out. Currently, Minis are thought to be feminine, cute, and delicate, but after this advertisement airs, the ad agency’s chief executive officer John Butler believes it will redefine the car’s image.

During the much anticipated Super Bowl 50, be sure to keep an eye out for Wambach, Williams, Hawk, Keiten, T-Pain, and Johnson cruising in style in their Minis.

Donald Faison for Super Bowl Campaign

Brand Hires Celebrity Donald Faison for Super Bowl Campaign

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For the fourth year, the Pepsi beverage company is going to be returning to the Super Bowl as one of the half-time sponsors. A couple of weeks ago, the company launched a new series of online videos called “Camp Halftime” that features weekly clips of actor and comedian Donald Faison who is shown teaching counselors about how to create a halftime show perfectly. These videos were created in partnership with The Kicker–Above Average’s sports comedy site and they are being released every Wednesday leading up to the big game on both YouTube and Pepsi.com as well.

The New York City comedian has been in several media works, but is best known for his role as Dr. Chris Turk in ABC’s hit comedy-drama show Scrubs. Before hitting the hospital wing of the set, Faison has smaller roles in shows such as Sesame Street, New York Undercover, Clueless, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In addition to that, he was in a few full length films too such as Disney’s Remember the Titans, Glory, Juice, Waiting to Exhale and New Jersey Drive. In both 2002 and 2004, Faison won BET’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series awards and was nominated several times for the Teens Choice Awards under the category of Choice TV Sidekick. These days he is working on a few additional projects and raising the six kids that he has at home.

Be sure to look out for Donald Faison in this year’s Super Bowl commercials, and check out the hilarious skits that come out weekly in preparation for the fun football event.

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