It has become increasingly popular for us to see famous faces as brand ambassadors of companies, promoting their latest and greatest products or services. As the world of advertising has become more and more competitive, we have also seen the trend of using famous personas from the entertainment and sports industries to promote businesses more than ever. Think Chris Hemsworth for Hugo Boss, Johnny Depp for Dior, or Zendaya for Lancôme, just to name a few.
Aside from the entertainment industry, another place where big businesses look is the sports industry, using big sports stars in order to represent their brand through commercials and campaigns. In Dwayne Johnson’s career, for instance, he went from being a celebrity figure in the professional wrestling world to pursuing a whole new career in the entertainment industry.
This took off in part due to his solid reputation and fame from his former WWE years. So, the next time you’re about to begin browsing through the best online sportsbook, it may be worth keeping up to date with who the current big sports stars are in both sports and entertainment and using them to help place your bets. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some successful campaigns and collaborations between businesses and sports stars that prove why it’s worth recruiting in sport for the growth and success of a business.
NBA’s Highest-Paid Players
To get an idea of how brands may search for who to recruit as their brand ambassadors, it may be worth having a look at some of the top paid NBA players and the collaborations that they’ve struck with various brands that have helped their businesses grow. These include well-known figures such as Stephen Curry, the Warriors hero, who currently sits at the top of the league as being the highest-paid NBA player, James Harden from the Nets, and LeBron James who ranks in sixth place based just on his NBA salary, but in the history of the NBA, still retains the title of highest earner.
Ranking number one as the highest-paid NBA player for the year 2021, the 33-year-old is set to make $46 million in the last year of his deal, and that number is just from his NBA salary alone. From starring in Burger King commercials with his father Dell Curry in his childhood to now appearing in his own commercials with businesses beyond just the sports world, Curry is a perfect example of how companies use sports figures to promote their brand. With this growing trend, we see some unexpected companies entering the ring and making use of such celebrity figures as well. CarMax may seem like a typical brand for someone like Curry to work with, but what comes as a bigger surprise was his announcement of collaborating with the up-and-coming crypto platform FTX. When speaking with the CEO of FTX, it was said that Curry’s work ethic whether in basketball or his commitment to charitable causes ‘perfectly align with FTX’s core values’ showing us that more and more companies are casting their interest in sports figures beyond just the sport that they’re famous for and are transferring those athletic skills in a way that helps them grow as a company.
Ranking second just behind Curry, James Harden from the Nets is another big sports star who is set to make over $44 million by the end of the year. His $200 million deal with Adidas signed in 2015 will last for 13 years and will feature Harden wearing shoes from Adidas not only on the court but in his everyday social settings as well, showing us how companies have begun advertising their products in a more casual way beyond commercials or campaigns. This new direction of advertisement allows for the promotion of the business at more or less all times as it follows the sportsman beyond the court. The effect this deal had was noticeable, not only because Nike, who was assumed to have signed on Harden, bowed out and chose not to match Adidas’ offer of $200 million, but also because stocks rose 40%, and Adidas regained its position as being the second-largest sports apparel company just behind Nike, overtaking Under Armour in the process.
One of the most well-known figures in the basketball world, James sits at number six set to make over $41 million by the end of the year, not too far behind Harden and Curry. But when it comes to the history of the NBA, LeBron James still holds the title as being the highest earner. His fame off the court is said to bring in even more than his NBA income, all thanks to his collaborations with various businesses. Now more than ever, we even see multiple crossovers between brands that simultaneously promote two, sometimes even three businesses at once! One such example came with the announcement of Lebron James’ addition to the Fortnite Icon series by Epic Games in July. Players were given the option of being able to purchase the NBA star with two different outfits, both of which featured his upcoming signature shoe, Nike LeBron 19.
Another option available to players was to purchase a Space Jam-inspired outfit, ahead of the release of the live-action Space Jam: A New Legacy in which James starred. In this collaboration alone we see the successful publicity received by not only Epic Games but also Nike as well as the promotion of the new film, all of which were connected and gained recognition through the use of James. There’s no better time than the present for even more businesses to take note of such marketing strategies, as time and time again, it has proven itself to be useful in the growth and success of a company.