Celebrity Endorsement in Sponsorship 13th December, 2010

Celebrities used to be fantastic opportunities for sponsorship and brand endorsement.  Not only did they look the part, they had massive fan followings and innumerable opportunities to endorse the brand through paparazzi shots and interviews.  However, I anticipate that gravy train will soon run dry.  With the numerous scandals affecting some of the leading brands, how could anyone risk millions of dollars on one single individual anymore?

The celebrity endorsement fallout that led the pack was the infamous Tiger Woods scandal.  The slow leaking of women coming out of the woodwork led a fallout from sponsors Gillete, Accenture, AT&T, and even Gatorade, which didn’t even have a sponsorship relationship with Tiger Woods. 

With the recent allegations that Wayne Rooney has cheated on childhood sweetheart with a prostitute, this is the final nail in the coffin.  Celebrities are not worth the pain, hassle and fan fallout that their ‘private’ lives bring with their endorsement.

As such, we have seen an influx of sponsors supporting festivals rather than individual musicians and of government initiatives rather than sports stars.

I can’t imagine Wayne Rooney will maintain his sponsors throughout the backlash that will soon ensue.  Nor can I imagine the Marketing Directors will ever be able to get through the red tape.