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Selecting Sports Personalities As Celebrity Endorsers

William L. Shanklin, A. Miciak
Published 1997 · Business

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Abstract Celebrity endorsers are popular as media spokespersons for commercial offerings because people emulate their role models. Professional athletes around the globe are some of the most recognizable, revered, and imitated celebrities of all. This potent package of characteristics is a double-edged sword. A company associating its name and brands with a sports personality, via advertising, can profit from the star's fame or suffer from the athlete's ineffectiveness in selling or adverse fortunes. Reebok employed two decathletes for the 1992 Olympic games who did not live up to expectations: one failed to qualify and the other did not earn a medal. Hertz's longtime association with O.J. Simpson turned into a public relations nightmare. Because of the monetary outlays and publicity risks of retaining sports celebrities, companies and their advertising agencies are carefully evaluating athletes against multiple criteria. This article reports on how prominent advertising agencies and corporations choose e...

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