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Brand With Star Power


Brand with star power by partnering with sports celebrities and corporate sponsors. Capitalize on the celebrity status of star athletes and popular brands to boost the image and reputation of your sports property. Whether you represent a sports facility, event, organization or team, branding with “star power” has great advantages.

Like the light echo around a giant star, celebrities’status reverberates on the brands they represent. For superstars with global appeal, celebrity endorsements and multinational brands can transcend cultural barriers and geographic boundaries.

From years of experience working with well-known athletes and corporate sponsors, I know they can add value by enhancing the brand image and goodwill of the products, services and organizations with whom they associate. I also know the opposite is true. When sponsoring brands and superstars do not live up to expectations, they have the potential to cause harm.

Four things to consider when partnering with sports celebrities and corporate sponsors:

  1. Find the right fit
  2. Choose carefully
  3. Maintain brand distinction
  4. Disassociate with falling stars

Find the right fit. The right fit is a key consideration when forming strategic alliances. Before entering into a celebrity agreement or corporate sponsorship discuss shared values and purpose. Define objectives and set clear expectations. Develop a win-win strategy, one that is mutually beneficial.

Choose carefully. When working with sports celebrities and corporate sponsors, choose partners carefully. Work with those that offer strategic advantages. Find out if they are willing and able to leverage the relationship to reinforce shared values, and to further the mission and purpose of the organizations involved.

Maintain brand distinction. Regardless of how popular or attractive sponsoring brands and sports celebrities may be, it’s a good idea to maintain brand distinction so their name and reputation complement but do not overshadow or dilute the brand image of the sports property. It’s the strength, visibility and positioning of the sports property that often attracts sports celebrities and corporate sponsors.

Maintain separate and distinct brands so one identity enhances the other, and together they create synergy. The image and reputation of each brand generates a halo effect reflecting on one another. Good or bad, the brands will influence one another.

Sponsors and celebrities come and go. When either one falls out of favor, the tarnished image has the potential to reflect negatively on products, services and organizations they endorse.

Disassociate with falling stars. While the actual presence, endorsement and support of sports celebrities and corporate sponsors can benefit a sports property, this situation has the potential to backfire when marketing partners don’t maintain and strengthen their own brand image and reputation. Remaining aligned with falling stars can be counterproductive.

When a marketing partner acts in an unpredictable, unethical or unbecoming manner, or the behavior and publicity become inconsistent with the image and core values of the organization, than the relationship may be disadvantageous. If the reputation of a celebrity spokesperson or corporate sponsor becomes unhealthy, it could tarnish participating brands and potentially cause loss of goodwill and brand equity. When the brand no longer shines, it’s time to make a change.

Whether partnering with a famous sports celebrity or a well-known sponsor, there are ways to leverage these relationships and safeguard the sports properties involved. Learn how to benefit from strategic alliances, and how to protect products, services and organizations from those who fall out of favor.

Brand With Star Power is a three-part series. In Part 2 you will learn about protection measures to Guard Against Falling Stars. In Part 3, find out what to do When a Brand Looses Its Shine.


  © 2012 Anne Wall, All Rights Reserved.

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