With lucrative endorsements from high-profile athletes in every major sport, Nike continually has key players offering advertising in sporting events with billions of viewers, and the stock has generated impressive long-term returns that have rewarded longtime shareholders.
Michael Jordan’s shoe brand really took off when Mars Blackmon, played by Spike Lee, declared — in film and in ads — “It’s gotta be the shoes!” The Jordan Brand changed the culture of basketball and sports marketing. Today, 19 years after his retirement and three decades after the first Mars Blackmon commercial, Jordan’s brand is larger than ever.
Nike doesn’t report Jordan brand sales by quarter, but it did break out Jordan Brand revenue from its total basketball segment for the full year, marking the first time Jordan Brand revenue was reported independently of the Nike Basketball segment. The results are always incredible.
Let’s also get some perspective into how celebrities like Michael Jordan influence on the purchasing decision and boast a product.
According to a University of Arkansas research study (in conjunction with Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom), the reason we see so many celebrities in product advertisements and endorsment situations may be that marketers are keenly aware that “a range of consumer-celebrity relationships conspires to allow consumers to form a personal identity that matches who they want to be.” These messages (which can be multiple ads for one product/brand from a celebrity, or even multiple different brands that rely on the same celebrity), “help consumers develop a portfolio of relationships that allow them to function as creators of meaning for themselves.” The study authors call these relationships “celebrityscapes” or “celebrity bricolages.” In other words, if you eat/smoke/drink the same as David Beckham or Brad Pitt, you might also think you emulate their other (mega) more desirable traits, too. In the case that you don’t want to emulate them, but rather are attracted to them, you’re still more likely to purchase those products in some strange psychological attempt to attract that (type of) person into your life.
A Taiwanese study found that consumers are quicker to “memorize” the product a celebrity is involved with, whether they’re a fan or not. The human brain recognize celebrities similarly to how we recognize people we actually know.
That means that the celeb-reliant brands are pushing harder to win you over with your favorite stars; and on top of that brand has to tell you why a product is actually good or useful, without just relying on cute cartoon characters or popular musicians, and the chances are that’s all that’s really being sold to you are worth the money and not just flashy, expensive and fleeting performance.