Athlete Endorsements

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Sport Marketing and Promotions


What is an athlete endorsement and what significance does it play in the corporate world of advertising? According to an “endorsement” is the act of endorsing something through approval or sanction. Companies regularly use athletes and other high profile individuals to endorse their company and/or specific products as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. They use the popularity of their talents to entice consumers to look favorably on their brand and to increase sales of their products or services thru their tacit approvals. These approvals or sanctions are done by having the athlete align themselves with the company
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Michael Jordan’s sneaker, know as Air Jordan’s kicked off in 1986 and became the most successful athlete endorsement in history. Nike sold more than $100 million in a single year, which helped the company hit its first billion-dollar year (“History of Athletes,” 2009). Athlete endorsements today are seen through a variety of different media sources. You can turn on the television to see Tiger Woods wearing his Nike golf shirt or go online to purchase a football jersey and see Payton Manning using a MasterCard. Athlete’s endorsements have evolved with the latest technologies today and have kept pace in maintaining their relation with their consumers. Companies use Athletes as a marketing strategy to launch new products, reposition products, and/or to reinforce brand images. This paper will explain what researchers have found on the pros and cons of using Athletes to endorse a product.

Review of Literature

In 2003, a study was conducted to evaluate some of the reasons why celebrity endorsements can be a bad idea for corporate brands. Researchers explained that relying on a single individual, as the exclusive spokesperson for an entire product line may not always be a good idea. Well-known athletes chosen to represent a product in
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