Has Brand Ambassadorship Become Too Risky?

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Two days after Seattle’s Super Bowl victory Brand Channel asked the question, “Is Seattle’s Russell Wilson the Perfect Brand Ambassador?” Here’s what they said.

“At just 25-years-old, Wilson looks like he belongs as much in British boy band One Direction as behind center. Where his adversaries are old and robotic like Peyton Manning or aggressively sharp-angled and bicep-kissing like Colin Kaepernick, Wilson is soft-spoken and monumentally humble. He’s outwardly religious—but not Tim Tebow-religious. He’s outspoken about being an underdog—but not Tim Tebow-outspoken about being an underdog. And at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, he’s amazingly relatable as an Everyman—somebody you could actually be.”
“Add to all that his effervescent smile, hard-to-place ethnic background and Renaissance man attitude—Wilson is outspoken about his love of meditation and yoga (yoga!)—and you have the makings of a different kind of new age intellectual NFL star. Watch as the brands fall over themselves to sign him up.”

Whereas the practice of appointing brand ambassadors is popular, this marketer has often questioned its real contribution to the bottom line. The answers tend to be vague with little measurement of ROI. And then there is the question of risk associated with the concept. Too risky?

I wonder what my friends in strategy or finance would say.

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