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

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'. Print Edition | Subscribe