Companies regularly use athletes and other high profile individuals to endorse their company and specific products as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. They use the popularity of their talents to entice consumers to look favorably on their brand and to increase sales of their products or services. These approvals are done by having the athlete align themselves with the company through advertisement, commercials, product promotions, or sports gear contract arrangements. Many endorsements deals can bring great wealth and exposure to both an athlete and a company.
The effectiveness of a celebrity endorser, like David Beckham himself, relies on physical attractiveness and cultural meaning. Companies, such as Gillette have used Beckham in their marketing strategy to target a younger, global consumer. Gillette feels that Beckham could improve their image and boost its brand internationally. By using Beckham, they can reach men aged 18-34. In 2004, he signed a record breaking deal valued at 40 mill pounds – 64 million CAD to become the global face of Gillette. Findings have indicated that customers have a more positive brand attitude and purchasing intentions when the product is paired with an attractive celebrity endorser.
Companies such as Pepsi, Adidas, Vodafone and Giorgio Armani all strived to sign Beckham and ensure that he was the face behind their products. Despite already being aligned with a remarkable 64 million dollar deal with Gillette, Beckham wasn’t ready to put off the much more smaller endorsement deals. He was offered a 3 million dollar deal with Pepsi, a 1.7 million dollar deal with Vodafone and a 20 million dollar 3 year deal with Giorgio Armani. However, it was an astonishing 160 million dollar life long contract from Adidas that toped his endorsement deals. The company also immediately issued him a massive down payment worth 80 million dollars.
There are a number of barriers and obstacles that hinder relationships between companies and their endorsers. Endorsers such as Beckham have to be very careful in the way they behave both on and off the field, simply because they are representing the companies that they advertise for. It is considered that the companies portray what they are endorsers portray. This entails that individuals have to maintain a respectable profile as they are the face of the company’s product or service.