What Makes Footballers So In-Demand As Brand Ambassadors
There is something inherently appealing about sports personalities in the eyes of marketers. They seem to be everywhere, not just promoting sports brands but everything from perfumes to casinos and even education in some cases.
Footballers in particular feel like they appear the most, cropping up in all the places you’d expect and many that you wouldn’t, but what exactly makes them so popular for brand marketers?
What a Brand Ambassador Does
For those not familiar with brand marketing, brand ambassadors can mean several different things which mostly depend on scale. For example, brands like Bumble and PINK use generally unknown social media users as their ambassadors, who receive training and usually financial support in exchange for promoting the brand in their area, such as a university campus or their own social network.
The other category of brand ambassador is the one that footballers fit in, which is the high-profile category. These are well-known figures, either in specific circles like sport or fashion or can be just general celebrities, who immediately bring star power to a campaign. These ambassadors are highly sought-after and can command major compensation because of it.
For a few footballing examples, companies like NIKE and Adidas have entire fleets of star player ambassadors. Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Bruno Fernandes and many more have major contracts with clubs in exchange for using and showing off the latest products, with Ronaldo reportedly having a lifetime deal with Adidas.
Not all of the deals are big-money corporate arrangements, though. Take the example of Lionel Messi working as a brand ambassador for the educational platform Byju, in particular their ‘Education For All’ programme for increasing education access. It was still a paid post ahead of the World Cup, but given that Messi runs his own foundation that shares some of the same aims, it’s much more personal.
How Much Impact does a Brand Ambassador Have?
To put a lot of marketing psychology in the simplest possible terms, the human mind loves the familiar. Attaching a well-known and well-regarded name to a product is one of the oldest marketing strategies in the book and also one that has proven most enduringly successful. Working in simple, recognizable and familiar concepts into advertising is a cornerstone of marketing, such as the pain of dropping the loo roll in the latest TV ad from MrQ to highlight how life is filled with wins and losses, which ties in well with the company’s gambling niche, or the entertainment of office life in the ‘Boogie’ Dairy Milk ad.
In this regard, footballers with their reputations for the high life and top-quality equipment are both instantly recognizable to target audiences and give a powerful atmosphere and feel to whatever product they’re behind. The reason that their ambassador fees climb easily into the millions is because those businesses expect the impact to be worth five or ten times that cost in the long run, and they’re usually correct.
Overall, football players, at least outside of the US where ‘soccer’ doesn’t have the same pull, are set to remain as some of the highest-value ambassadors out there along with Hollywood stars and the top social media giants.