1. Olympians generally do not turn into global phenomena. One reason is that they are highlighted only every four years (e.g., not too many people follow competitive swimming or downhill skiing [think Lindsey Vonn] outside the Olympics). How did Michael Phelps transform his competitive advantage as an athlete into a “global brand”?
2. Following the Beijing Olympics, a photo published by a British tabloid showed Michael Phelps using a “bong,” a device for smoking marijuana, at a party in South Carolina. Kellogg’s withdrew Phelps’ endorsement contract. What does this incident tell you about maintaining and increasing brand value over time?
3. According to a study by two economics professors at the University of California, Davis, another recent example of an athlete who lost significant “brand value” is Tiger Woods, who destroyed an estimated $12 billion in stock market value of the firms sponsoring him—Accenture, Gillette, Nike, PepsiCo (Gatorade), and Electronic Arts (EA). As a manager, what lessons about celebrity endorsements can you draw from the examples of Phelps and Woods? What are some general take-aways that a strategist should keep in mind?

  • CreatedDecember 12, 2014
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