Celebrity Endorsements

Written by Will Baum
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Celebrity endorsements are as natural to sales as air is to breathing. Certain products are inextricably associated with their celebrity endorser or spokesperson. Think of the Hummer and you think of Arnold Schwartzenegger. Think of T-Mobile and Catherine Zeta-Jones immediately comes to mind. Think of Viagra, and, if you've been watching a little too much television, Bob Dole will pop into your brain.

Celebrity endorsements have a long, distinguished history. Josiah Wedgewood, the famed 18th century potter, earned his name with unique and beautiful products. Or did he? Wedgewood was a pioneer in using celebrity to his advantage. Wedgewood knew his products were being used by Queen Charlotte. He didn't hesitate to let it be known that he was "Potter to Her Majesty" and started jacking up his prices for his wealthy clientele.

Nike is a company that has long used celebrities to define their brand. Athletes from Michael Jordan to Tiger Woods have sported Nike's trademark Swoosh, resulting in significant enrichment for all involved. Supposedly, in 1997, the company's demands got a little intimate. Tennis star Monica Seles signed an endorsement deal with Nike. One of the requirements, it is said, was that Seles wear the Nike Swoosh on her underwear.

Celebrity Endorsements Bring Credibility

Celebrity endorsements may not be as difficult to arrange as you think. Speakers bureaus represent hundreds of celebrities from sports, entertainment, and the public sphere who are available to endorse companies, products, and events. The Internet is an excellent place to begin researching which celebrities are available and at what cost.

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