Schooling's fame now comes at a price - for advertisers

The star power of athletes is a promotional dream. But a Michael Jordan lawsuit is a game-changer in terms of a free ride

From left: Tennis icon Roger Federer, singer Kit Chan, soccer stars present and past Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham are all brand ambassadors. Sporting celebrities, in particular, can wield huge power in influencing people's attitudes, choices a
Local hero Joseph Schooling is the newest ambassador for German luxury label Hugo Boss. PHOTO: HUGO BOSS
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Celebrity sells. We see famous faces everywhere - on billboards, on television, on public transport, on social media, in the newspapers and magazines. But do we ever wonder why a particular individual whose achievements in film, music or sports that have no relevance to the endorsed product would be attractive to consumers?

Why would Jura appoint Roger Federer to be its global brand ambassador for coffee machines? Why would Novita engage singer Kit Chan to endorse air sterilisers? Would fans of Cristiano Ronaldo and Beyonce eat KFC or drink Pepsi because their idols are the spokesmen for these brands?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 08, 2018, with the headline Schooling's fame now comes at a price - for advertisers. Subscribe