Have you ever buy a product just because your favorite actor was wearing or promoting it? For some people, buying a product that a celebrity endorse allow them to come closer to their word by using the same one. This is the whole point of celebrity endorsement.


McCracken defines celebrity endorsement as “an individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement”. (McCracken, 1989). They are a popular advertising strategy for brands.


Benefits of using celebrity endorsement for a brand


According to Elberse and Verleun (2012, cited in E. Tzoumaka, R.H. Tsiotsou & G. Siomkos, 2016) sports endorsements boost sales and helps attract new customers, so, they have a huge impact on the brands. The ambassadors use their status and their followers on social media to promote the product. It also helps in increasing brand name recognition.

Crutchfield (2010, cited in E. Tzoumaka, R.H. Tsiotsou & G. Siomkos, 2016) claims that marketing influence is now in the central of the Digital Marketing Strategy of several companies. We can see that by the marketing budget devoted for that strategy from 13% in 2016 and it’s expected to reach 21% in 2019 (Reech, 2016).


So how do you select the right celebrity?


Firms need to be aware that the choice of the ambassador is very important because they are relating the image of the brand.

Keller (2013, cited in A. Dwivedi, L. W. Johnson & R. E. McDonald, 2015) says that the brand personality needs to match the celebrity’s popular image. For example, customers won’t be attracted by a sports product if it’s endorsed by a celebrity that doesn’t do any sport, the promotion will seem fake.

We can talk about the Match-up Hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that more the endorser’s image and the endorsed product fit together, the more persuasive the product endorsement will be.


Sports brands can choose an athlete to promote a product, in that way, the athlete’s position in the public mind give him the opportunity to attract customers due to his ability to make them want to be like him. When an athlete endorses a product, this improves his reputation, believability, and attractiveness.


For example, here, the brand Puma is in collaboration with a French football player, Antoine Griezmann who promotes football shoes on his Instagram account.

When a famous athlete like him endorse a product that provides consumers reassurance about the quality of the product and the brand.

The FUTURE is mine #PUMAFuture. @PUMAfootball #NewLevels

A post shared by Antoine Griezmann (@antogriezmann) on


The Chief Executive of Puma Bjørn Gulden said: “The future is female, and the connection between women and Puma is very strong.” So we can see that the brand follow that idea with the launch of a new range of products named Fenty x Puma by Rihanna, one of the best endorsement deal.

Rihanna, on her Instagram account, have 58,3 M followers. So, when she endorsed the Fenty x Puma brand, it means 58,3 M potential customers can see it.

Like on this post where Rihanna promote the Fenty x Puma brand, with 2,4 M likes.


A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

They also create a special account for the brand just here, and there’s already 706K followers.



Read more about “Puma sales rise on Rihanna endorsement deal“



There is also the famous example of Nike with the « Air Jordan » exclusive shoe line endorsed by Michael Jordan. This will become the most successful athlete endorsement campaign ever. During this launch in 1984, sales of competitors like Adidas also increase in the footwear range of product (Karen E. lear, Rodney C. Runyan & William H. Whitaker, 2017). And even if Michael Jordan doesn’t play basketball anymore, he still has a huge fan base.

Here we can see that Nike recently posted a video about their biggest ambassador ever, Michael Jordan on their Instagram account.

The moment Mike Jordan became Michael Jordan. #WinLike82

A post shared by nike (@nike) on


The last example is Kendall Jenner, an ambassador of the brand Adidas who promotes the Superstar Shoes on her Instagram account where she has 85 M of followers. For that, she also uses the #Adidas_ambassador to show well her partnership with the brand. And we can see that the post have 5,9 M of views and 66 K comments. This is a really good promotion for the brand.

The first look. #ORIGINALis #adidas_Ambassador @adidasOriginals

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on


The brand needs to be aware of the risks


Even if celebrity endorsement helps the brand in attracting new customers, there are also risks to sports endorsements.

According to Miller and Laczniak (2011, cited in Karen E. lear, Rodney C. Runyan & William H. Whitaker, 2017), the most damaging factor is the negative information related by the celebrity in case of scandals or criminal accusations that lead to end the partnership between the brand and the celebrity.



Read more about why celebrity endorsements work just here:






Abhishek Dwivedi, Lester W. Johnson, Robert E. McDonald (2015). “Celebrity endorsement, self-brand connection and consumer-based brand equity”. Journal of Product & Brand Management. [online]


Eugenia Tzoumaka, Rodoula H. Tsiotsou & George Siomkos (2016). “Delineating the role of endorser’s perceived qualities and consumer characteristics on celebrity endorsement effectiveness”. Journal of Marketing Communications. [online]


Grant McCracken (1989) “Who is the Celebrity Endorser? Cultural Foundations of the Endorsement Process”. Journal of Consumer Research. [online]


Karen E. lear, Rodney C. Runyan & William H. Whitaker (2007). “Sports celebrity endorsements in retail products advertising”. [online]


Lily Bradic, (2015) « Celebrity Endorsements on Social Media Are Driving Sales and Winning Over Fans ». Social Media Week. 30th September 2015 [online]



Reech (2016) “Les 12 Meilleures Pratiques de l’Influence Marketing”. Livre Blanc. [online]