Sport Stars as Endorsers

The formulas for advertising changed way back during world war 2 when they saw celebrities influencing consumers through ads and the trend is been going on since. The phase from 1950’s to 1980’s was the pioneering phase and it was characterized by limited channels of communication,demand exceeded supply and heavy governmental regulations. Some bigger companies from their global experience introduced the concept of celebrity endorsements. The phase from 1980’s to 1990’s was the gowth phase in which television was introduced and it was an effective medium of communication.It also changed when stars went global through Asiads and World Cup victory. Vimal,Thumbs up,Gwalior and Dinesh are some of the brand which used the stars in the early days of advertising. There was a flow of celebrity advertising using stars like Tabbasum(Prestige cookers),Kapil Dev(Palmolive shaving cream) and Sunil Gavaskar(Dinesh suitings). India is a country here people love to live in dreams. They worship celebrities especially like Sachin Tendulkar,Mahender Singh Dhoni or Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. The people of our country treat them as gods.The marketers use his very emotions of the consumers and ropes celebrities for their endorsements for which they pay a huge sum of money to the celebrities. Aristotle said, “Beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction. ”this summarizes that why so many products are endorsed by the celebrities. If Virat Kohli is spraying a deodorant,Mahender Singh Dhoni is munching lays or Sachin Tendulkar is wearing a nike shoe,it makes you feel the need to have those Nike shoes or that deodorant. This is exactly what endorsements do.They get right inside our head and they influence us in such a way thet it changes our want of the product into a need. Endorsements are basicly a written or visual statement which is supposed to be promoted by a celebrity. The basic formula is to combine certain activities to influence the customers. There has been an increase in the number of celebrities in endorsements over the past years. Celebrities have special attributes which reflects on the products which may seem lacking otherwise. The sporting industry has developed as a global phenomenon in recent history.New formats of games have launched and many new teams have arrived which include some brilliant players and their fans willing to pay huge amount of money to see their favourite stars playing and in hopes to get some souvenirs as a memory. Many other fans just buy the particular brand of sports items or products which are worn by their favourite sportstars in the endorsements. A lot of celebrities endorse a lot of products which are meant for the fans purchase. Many hockey players and football players offer their services in endorsing products.Everything from car batteries to soft drinks to has been marketed by a sprts personality. This is a good strategy in which the fans know that their favourite sportstars attributes are reflected in the products and this leads to a good amount of puschase by the consumers. Daniel J. Boorstin,a famous American writer quotes “A sign of a celebrity is that is name is often worth more than his services. ” Celebrity endorsements have become a trend in today’s marketing world. Celebrity endorsements have several benefits,like building credibility and getting attention of the public,which can lead to higher sales.Celebrities are chosen for almost all kinds of products such as readymade garments,toiletries,razor blades,hotels,telecom,soft drinks,hard drinks and among others. Most companies take celebrities on contracts and makes them the brand embassadors for better sales of the products. For example,The famous sportstars Sachin Tendulkar endorses everything from tyres,Palio car to Pepsi,Visa,Adidas,stock trading products and music systems. Statistics show that endorsements have helped sport stars to keep up their heavy bank balances.One of the first sports endorsements in India was when Farokh Engineer became the first Indian cricketer to model for Brylcream. The Indian cricket teams now earns roughly Rs. 100 crore through endorsements. They are becoming the new face of the products. But recently it has been noticed that the sport stars are not focusing on the game but instead busy doing endorsements. This negligence towards the game can deteriorate their skills if more time is spent off the field. this absence of passion for the nation can surpress the chances of winning the matches for the country.Indian cricketers have such a fetish foe endorsements that they do not take a good decision on taking up advertisements. The important thing to remember is that putting a celebrity in an ad is not an idea in itself. Unfortunately, this is how most celebrities are being used in Indian advertising, where they just become a prop. Ideally, there should be an idea that makes the celebrity relevant to the productand the consumer. Have you ever imagined Tiger Woods selling biscuits or Michael Jordan selling tyres? But Sachin does all this with a confidence.Concequently,this thing degrades the image of the celebrity but in as an exception,Sachin assures that he does not get distracted on the field. To be influential,a celebrity must match the product so that he can impart credibility to the product. A good brand campaign idea and a link between the celebrity and the message is a must for a successful campaign. Celebrities are no doubt good at generating attention, recall and positive attitudes towards advertising provided that they are supporting a good idea and there is an precise fit between them and the brand.There are some parameters which ensures proper compatibility between the celebrity and the brand which starts after this sentence. •Celebrity’s fit with the brand image: The marketers are taking an approach in which they find the suitable celebrity which matches their brand and reaches to the maximum audience. Eg- Virat Kohli for Fair and Lovely cream because he is fair, handsome and appealing. • Celebrity—Target audience match: Irfan Pathan endorsing Hero Cycles has gained the brand immense recall and embarked through the positive association between the consumer and the brand. Celebrity associated values: Celebrity branding is all about the transfer of the value from the person to the product he endorses or stands for. There are two aspects in it. Firstly, how long the celebrity can maintain his popularity and secondly, his personal life. If he or she is in some kind of scandal then it could ruin the brand image. • Costs of acquiring the celebrity: companies must have deep pockets to be able to afford the best available celebrities. Small companies are in huge risks when they invest huge amounts on celebrities. Eg- Cost of hiring Sachin Tendulkar for a brand is about Rs. to 3 crores. • Celebrity—Product match: Nikhil Chinnapa is the brand ambassador for MTV since both the celebrity and the brand are considered as friendly, young, mood-boosting, humorous and outspoken. MTV’s brand personality overlaps Nikhil Chinnapa’s image as a brand. • Celebrity controversy risk: any act on the part of the endorser that gives him a negative image among the audience and goes on to affect the brands endorsed. The brand, in most instances, takes a bashing. • Celebrity popularity: HPCL has had increased popularity and share of voice due to the endorsement of the brand through Sania Mirza. Celebrity availability: In most cases,brands decide to go without a brand face because there is no match between the celebrity available and the brand. • Celebrity physical attractiveness: It is a great factor in appealing the audience for the brand. • Celebrity credibility: The most important aspect and reason for celebrity endorsement is credibility. It is one of the most important reason why M. S. Dhoni is endorsing a large number of brands. • Celebrity prior endorsements: consumers do get confused about the brand endorsed when a single celebrity endorses numerous brands.The recall then gets reduced and reduces the popularity of the brand. Not many people can remember all the brands that a celebrity endorses and the chances of losing brand recall increases if the celebrity endorses multiple brands. For example, in case of Sachin Tendulkar people recall Pepsi, TVS Victor and MRF, but might not remember brands like Britannia and Fiat. • Whether celebrity is a brand user: The are certain celebrities who endorse some causes for NGO’s and they follow it. On the other hand, some celebrities endorse a particular brand and they never use it.Sport stars like M. S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar,Yuvraj Singh,Abhinav Bindra, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati are some who are famous within sports and popular in the media and mass audience. I am going to discuss a case study which will dicuss brands endorsed by M. S. Dhoni. The young, handsome, self controlled, composed, independent cricket captain of Indian young brigade is one of the most famous images in Indian market. In India, cricket is religion and cricketers are placed among the gods.Dhoni is a brand in himself and a attractive choice for the marketers as a brand endorser. BRANDS ENDORSED BY DHONI 1. PEPSI:YOUNGISTAN MERI JAAN Pepsi has always tried to tap the young segment of India through their promotions. Beginning from the famous “Ahaa” series of ads to the “Yah Dil Mange More” to today’s “Youngistan Meri Jann”, Pepsi has always made ads to attract the youth. They have always chosen the young stars, may not be established, as a face of young India. So the main reason of using Dhoni is same in case of the latest Youngistan Meri Jann ads.BRAND PERSONALITY: 1. The brand is vibrant, energetic. 2. Pepsi is an intelligent brand which attaches itself with fun and enjoyment. 3. It also shows its daring attitude, mischievous behavior and outgoing nature. 4. There is nothing opaque about the product and brand. ENDORSER’S PERSONALITY 1. Dhoni is a young guy with a daring personality. 2. He is intelligent yet humble and full of life. 3. He is the leader of young team, fun loving young gentleman with transparent character. Now, Pepsi has chosen Dhoni as they think….. • Celebrity’s fit with the brand image:As mentioned earlier, the virtue of Dhoni matches with the embedded traits of the soft drink. Either of the personalities, be it Dhoni’s or be it Pepsi’s, joins as two consecutive part of a jigsaw puzzle. So Dhoni is a perfect match for Pepsi’s brand image. • Celebrity—Target audience match: Young generation of India love Dhoni, worship the man, salute his virtue and get thrilled to experience his presence. The young generation nowadays prefers to be like Dhoni if not Sachin. So Dhoni is a idle to the young generation of India and using Dhoni as a brand endorser is a master stroke by Pepsi. Celebrity associated values: The value associated with Dhoni is very high. Dhoni’s attitude, his transparency, maturity acted as a magnet which attract not only the youth but also the older generation. So Dhoni’s presence in an advertisement creates a positive vibe for the product in the mind of consumer which force them to think about the endorsed product. • Costs of acquiring the celebrity: Cost to use Dhoni as the endorser of Pepsi is very high but as a multinational company it is insignificant if they consider the high brand awareness they are creating through Dhoni. Celebrity controversy risk: It is nil as Dhoni is known as good boy among the celebrities. So low controversy level increase the brand image of self as well as of Pepsi. • Celebrity popularity: It is already mentioned that Dhoni is one of the most popular persons in India. One can find a man who might not know how our PresidentPratibha Patil looks like, but he must be a fan of Dhoni. This popularity reduce Pepsi’s half of job as an advertiser. • Celebrity physical attractiveness: As a sportsman he possesses an athletic body.But in addition to that he is manly looking and with a macho image and a deadly smile, which makes him more attractive and appealing. • Celebrity credibility: Celebrity is being judged that whether he has the right to appear in the advertisement and indirectly advice the consumers what to do and what not to. Dhoni is captain of Indian cricket team and not only that, he has proven his capability of performing under immense pressure several times which is obviously created creditworthiness. • Celebrity prior endorsements:Prior advertisements with several companies has proven the spontaneity, acting ability and confidence in front of camera. 2. REEBOK: YOUR MOVE Reebok is the most visible and remarkable sports brand of all time. It makes innovative products which are making a lot of difference to consumers and athletes worldwide. As all the persons related to sports are its target market, Reebok has been using different sport celebrities for its promotion. Dhoni’s “YOUR MOVE” is a famous advertisement of Reebok. BRAND PERSONALITY: 1. The brand is related to sports wear. . Reebok attach itself with an active & athletic image. 3. An sport person is uncomplete without Reebok’s products. ENDORSER’S PERSONALITY: 1. Dhoni is a young sport personality. 2. He has a fit & healthy body as well as attitude.. 3. He is the leader of Indian cricket team. 4. He has achieved a remarkable position in cricket in a young age. Now, Reebok chose Dhoni for this advertisement for following reasons….. • Celebrity’s fit with the brand image: As Dhoni is the captain of Indian cricket team, he leads the cricket in india these days.Reebok needed a sport personality who has a remarkable position in sports world as well as different image than predecessors. So it completely matches to fulfill the need of promotion of a brand having speciality in sport products. • Celebrity—Target audience match: The target market of Reebok is sport persons. Its product’s price are also high because of high quality. As Dhoni is a benchmark for new entrants in sports, so he totally match to the audience’s dreams. They will buy reebok products because they want to reach to the level of Dhoni. • Celebrity associated values:The value associated with Dhoni is very high. Because Dhoni’s image is of a big sport celebrity as well as youngest Indian cricket team’s captain. If audience thinks Reebok as Dhoni is, then it shows that Reebok has as much quality as Dhoni has. Dhoni’s leading capacity reflects Reebok leading behavior in quality and standards. • Costs of acquiring the celebrity: Cost to use Dhoni as the endorser is very high but for a multinational company it is insignificant. And when the profit to brand image of Reebok is measured because of Dhoni, then the cost seems very less in comparison of hat profit. • Celebrity controversy risk: It is nil as Dhoni is known as good boy among the celebrities. So low controversy level increase the brand image of self as well as of Reebok. • Celebrity popularity: In India, cricket is most famous sport and it is played and watched by a big portion of whole population of india. As cricketers comes just after religion for Indians, so it can be easily assessed how much an Indian cricket team captain should matter to the people. • Celebrity physical attractiveness: As a sportsman he possesses an athlete type of physic.But in addition to that he is manly looking and with a macho image and a deadly smile, which makes him more attractive and appealing. • Celebrity prior endorsements: Dhoni’s prior endorsements show the positive results of his image to the brand. He looked confident and effective in different advertisements. So from above analysis we see that the brand personality matches with the image of Dhoni. So people can easily relate the brand with Dhoni as he is a sports person and Reebok can easily get attached with it.

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