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Within sport, endorsement has fast become an effective form of advertisement for organisations, with Stafford et al (2003) defining this type of commercial exposure as “a famous [athlete or coach] who uses public recognition to recommend or co-present with a product in an ad”. Wang et al (2012) defines the term celebrity “as a person who is well known and receives consumers’ respect;” hopefully then (from the companies perspective) leading to an instant connection between the consumer and the product through the favoured endorser, with Lear et al (2009) supporting the idea that celebrity endorsement is more” likely to positively influence consumer buying decisions”.
The way in which a brand / company publicise their product or services to a consumer through high profile endorsements could influence sales, depending on what that current market are demanding, and also the athlete supporting the product or service. A product with the backing of a famous athlete has incredible pulling power in terms of increasing brand awareness, with Poturak (2013) claiming that it is "unanimously accepted that celebrity endorsement can grant extraordinary characteristics to a product or service that may have lacked otherwise". With this in mind, external factors such as an athlete's personal life or 'off the field' endeavours could have just as much of an impact in deteriorating a brands image as it could improving it, with the customers personal opinion on the athletes themselves being the deciding factor in whether to purchase the product being endorsed or not. Biswas, Biswas, & Das (2006) believes that “because of consumer trust in celebrity endorsers, consumers tend to accidentally transfer their perceptions of celebrity endorsers to the brand,” does this then mean that much of Nike’s success could be due to its affiliation with sports stars with a ‘wild side’ such as Tiger Woods ? With statements made by Davis (2013) such as “today's teens get an extra whammy -- social pressures come earlier than in previous generations” suggesting defiant behaviour within the youth of current, work in favour of organisations such as Nike, Adidas and other major sporting brands, with a more outspoken and rebellious generation looking for like minded ‘role models’ to follow and idolise?
In some cases, sponsors see disobedient and unruly athletes as a risk so large that potential, and existing customers, as well as the organisations own public image could be lost or tarnished through their actions, as seen with the termination of 100 metre sprinter Ben Johnson’s endorsement contract with Diadora worth an estimated $2.
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"Sports High Profile Endorsements." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jul 2018
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