Selecting endorsements in a smart way

When the great Messi appeared in a Ballon D’Or gala with a fancy Dolce & Gabana suit I am sure I was not the only one to think it was not like him, no matter how cool and expensive the garment would be. Just like when I realized that 2014 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo was promoting Toyota cars in Thailand and thought, with all respect for the Japanese automotive brand, that linking with a more luxury brand would probably fit him more.

Welcome to the first Prime Time Sport Players Marketing newsletter of 2015, where as usual you will find plenty of player endorsements activity, both in terms of new deals and in exploitation by brands of existing wants.

This time, I propose you to become commercial agents for one day and take you thru the criteria to be used to select the best endorsement opportunities for your players, of course should you represent a strong enough one that can afford to be picky with selection.

The above mentioned examples are just few of many situations in which the brand and the celebrity do not necessarily fit that well. Brand fit is precisely one of the three key factors to consider when selecting sponsorship opportunities. Let’s have a look at the three of them.

  1. Financial contribution relative to the amount of work needed. This is the reason why we would all think an endorsement would be good for our client. It’s normally the case, but there are some exceptions, particularly when the brand may not fit 100% with the player. Additionally, we will also have to carefully look at the work associated to the endorsement, as it will dictate its profitability. A really well paid endorsement plenty of appearances that may conflict with sporting duties may not necessarily be the best pick for our client.
  2. Brand fit. There needs to be a natural association between the player and its positioning and the brand, in a way that the endorsement looks credible. Dressing-up Iniesta as a cook promoting a knifes collection could be really well paid but wonder if you would expect the Barcelona ace to spend too much time in the kitchen.
  3. Activation plans by the brand. Why is it that most players queue up to be selected as ambassadors for the likes of Beats, EA’s FIFA or Pepsi? These brands are not among those offering most lucrative deals to the players, but provide other benefits which agents can leverage in a very effective manner. The cooler the brand and its communication, and the more investment in advertising space and social media, the better for the promotion of the player and subsequent additional and more lucrative endorsement opportunities.

And now enjoy in this newsletter the latest list of endorsement projects, and try guessing how they may have been selected!


Esteve Calzada

CEO Prime Time Sport

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