Exclusively for Footwear News, Spotted assessed 240 celebrity endorsements and campaigns in the footwear and athletic wear industries from 2017 to 2018. Spotted then ranked the endorsements and campaigns based on three factors:
- Perception Analysis: Perception Analysis uses proprietary survey data to score celebrities on consumer perception, including attributes such as recognition, likability, relatability, attractiveness, trustworthiness and authenticity.
- Risk Assessment: Incorporating more than 60 risk factors, Risk Assessment measures how risky a brand’s celebrity partner is, looking at the recency and frequency of controversies surrounding the celebrity.
- Audience Match™: Audience Match™ measures the overlap between the brand’s online audiences and the celebrity’s online audiences in terms of age, gender, household income and geographic location.
In the story published by Footwear News on Friday, Spotted CEO Janet Comenos speaks to the danger footwear and athletic wear brands are putting themselves in by making highly visible celebrity decisions based upon internal bias and surface-level data:
“The way these very expensive, high-visibility campaigns are [orchestrated] is that it’s typically a single marketer or group of marketers sitting around a table saying, ‘I know this person is really cool; I feel like they’re really popular; I feel like they’re a really good fit for our brand’ — it’s a lot of ‘I think’ and ‘I feel’ type of talk. Brands are not actually using data to form these decisions, and these [campaigns] end up flopping or turning off consumers.”
Read the full story on Footwear News (“Ugg & Lil Yachty Probably Weren’t a Good Match — Here’s Why Some Celebrity Endorsements Don’t Work”) and view our ranking of the top 15 and bottom 15 celebrity endorsements and campaigns here.
The context: celebrity endorsement has more financial pull on footwear and athletic wear than ever before
Wall Street analysts are increasingly factoring celebrity endorsements into their assessment of the stock and market value of publicly traded footwear and athletic wear brands. And with this, celebrity endorsement has more financial pull than ever before.
In 2016, Jordan Spieth lost his defending champion title at the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club and had a very public meltdown at the event. Shares of Under Armour dropped nearly 6 percent the day after. In 2015, Spieth signed a 10-year agreement to wear Under Armour’s golf shoes and other clothes, and his collapse in the tour’s final round appeared to be partly behind the drop in the company’s shares.
On the opposite end of the spectrum for Under Armour, the company’s stock surged nearly 9% in May 2018 after announcing that its new Curry 5 sneakers (made in partnership with NBA star Steph Curry) would be released in the next week.
More recently, Nike’s controversial and polarizing “Just Do It” ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick led to fluctuating share numbers. The day after the campaign was announced, shares plummeted following initial consumer backlash. However, things have since taken a turn for the positive, with Nike’s rating now being upgraded. While shares originally slid in the wake of the controversial ad campaign’s release, online sales jumped, and the stock has recouped its losses.
Professor Anita Elberse at Harvard Business School has written extensively on the subject of “The Economic Value of Celebrity Endorsements.” In a study in which she analyzed hundreds of athlete endorsements, she found that “sales for brands in a variety of consumer-product categories jumped an average of 4% in the six months following the start of an endorsement deal, even after controlling for advertising expenditures and other factors that could be expected to drive up sales. Several brands saw sales rise with more than 20 percent after teaming up with an endorser.”
Knowing the financial gains and losses a celebrity endorsement can have, it has become more crucial than ever for brands to select the right celebrity partners.
When celebrity partners are selected subjectively (and without the right research and strategic insight), brands are putting themselves and their stakeholders at risk. Choose the wrong celebrity? The campaign can flop and waste budget, damage brand image and safety, or offend and turn off target consumers. Choose the right celebrity? Brands can create a “lightning in a bottle” effect, capturing the zeitgeist and completely changing the course of their business.
The rankings: Under Armour, Crocs, Gap, Converse & Kate Spade make it to the top
Of all the footwear and athletic wear endorsement deals and campaigns from 2017 and 2018 that Spotted analyzed, Under Armour had the highest scoring endorsement deal or campaign with Dwayne Johnson. Here are the 5 highest ranking endorsements and campaigns.
These five celebrity endorsements and campaigns scored very positively in terms of three of Spotted’s core metrics: Perception Analysis, Risk Assessment, and Audience Match™.
The rankings: Adidas, Finish Line, UGG, GAP & Reebok appear in the bottom
Of all the footwear and athletic wear endorsement deals and campaigns from 2017 and 2018 that Spotted analyzed, Adidas had the lowest scoring endorsement deal or campaign with Sofia Richie. Here are the 5 lowest ranking endorsements and campaigns.
These five endorsements and campaigns scored very poorly in terms of three of Spotted’s core metrics: Perception Analysis, Risk Assessment, and Audience Match™.
View Spotted’s full celebrity endorsement rankings for footwear and athletic wear
If you’re a footwear or athletic wear brand working with celebrities, find out where your celebrity partnership stands in the industry by viewing Spotted’s ranking of the top 15 and bottom 15 endorsements and campaigns. For detailed insights into your partnership’s success or failure, request more information.