Football isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s more important than that (Bill Shankly, former manager, Liverpool FC). Pick up a newspaper, any newspaper and count the pages given over to reporting, advertising and discussing sport. Many people will bet you there’s more coverage of sport in your paper than any other subject such as politics, the arts, business and travel all get less attention. Sport is the stock-in-trade of conversations between friends and a source of passion and enmity. Yet sport is frivolous, mere entertainment.
Compared to war, poverty, famine and disease sport is an irrelevance. So why did Bill Shankly say it was more important than life or death? Is there something about sports teams and individual sports which represent something fundamental about our culture? The answer is yes! For the marketer/ advertiser sport is not merely a business or an industry. Sure, sport is both these things but it is more still. The attention given to sport, its place in our lives and its contribution to language and culture makes it a major influence on attitudes, behavior and community.
The marketer who ignores sport as an influence on the consumer, especially the male consumer makes a major mistake. In this review a number of key aspects of advertising in the sports industry are clearly outlined and gone through in great detail. Conducting such a review highlighted many crucial aspects when considering the factors that contribute to effective advertising. Examples of factors include celebrity endorsements, sponsorship advertising, online advertising while also relating to other important issues close to advertising such as consumer behavior, consumer loyalty and other factors.
A lot of aspects are examined in this document with the hope of identifying possibilities of ways to increase sports advertising and also illustrating the current forms of effective advertising in the sports industry. Analysis and studies are used to provide information on demographics, target markets while using global brands to demonstrate how multinational companies advertise worldwide enhancing global status and ultimately satisfying consumer’s wants and desires. As the sports industry has such a broad landscape only a number of sports are looked at in detail such as football.
An assumption can be made that advertising in the sports industry has increased in volume over the last 20years along with the evolution of the media. Both increases have developed in alignment with the improvement of modern technologies such as the internet, computers and television. Regarding the aspect of advertising sports products and information on events, communication is an invaluable resource. The ability to communicate to a large number of people at once is a major benefit of advertising.
Because it is indirect and non-personal, advertising allows marketers to send a uniform and unvarying message with great frequency. You may see a soft drink commercial several times as you watch a soccer game or an advertisement for Guinness during a half time break while watching a hurling game. This is all down to effective advertising and sponsorship. Advertising as a whole in the sports industry has quite a broad spectrum not only in Europe but across the world especially the United States. Introduction:
Advertising is defined as any informative or persuasive message carried by a non personal medium and paid for by a sponsor whose product is in some way identified in the message (Zikmund/d’Amico, 3rd edition). Traditional mass media, such as television and magazines are most commonly used to transmit advertisements however it is extremely important for sports advertiser’s to go into more in-depth analysis when targeting markets. However for effective sports advertising to be competitive in an industry at quite a high standard, elements such as sponsorship, celebrity endorsements, billboards and online advertising need to be examined.
Included in this list are advertising at sports stadiums, race courses, and Golf events such as the Ryder cup, tennis tournaments, Formula 1, Olympic Games and many other sporting atmospheres. For advertising campaigns it will be crucial for the survival of marketers to conduct analysis on SWOT and consumer behavior. Conducting an analysis of how advertising is represented on television, celebrity endorsement’s comes to many people’s minds immediately. A sports celebrity endorser may be defined as “a famous [athlete or coach] who uses public recognition to recommend or co-present with a product in an ad” (Stafford et al. 2003, p. 13). In addition to those actively engaged in their sport, this may include sports professionals who are retired. (Constanzo and Goodnight, 2005). They are likely to positively influence consumer buying decisions, celebrity endorsements have long been used by manufacturers and retailers in their efforts to sell products (Stafford et al. , 2003; Erdogen, 1999; Kamins, 1990). Top athletes often earn more from endorsements than from their athletic contracts (Stone et al. , 2003).
However in contrast to this (Miller, 1993; Goldman, 1994; Lofton, 1994 😉 illustrate that when a celebrity endorser unexpectedly engages in behavior which is unacceptable to the targeted consumer, the positive influence may be reversed and the celebrity potentially becomes a liability to the sponsor. A study was carried out by Stone et al. which covered the periods of 1983-1988 and 1993-1998. For each six-year period, the original researchers looked at whether the sports advertisements featured a product, athlete, or other model (regardless of fame or anonymity).
This information was important to retailers advertising in the sports industry when assessing the effectiveness of past promotional activities, planning future campaigns and cooperative advertising. It also allowed them to avoid the potentially negative effects of association with a product endorsed by a celebrity athlete whose unexpected behavior may have damaged its consumer base and company reputation. Many sports retailers depend largely on brand owners’ advertising campaigns to promote key products carried in their stores.
Manufacturing retailers and brand owners recognize that effective product launches and ongoing sport advertising campaigns are critical to their success, as well. Despite the rapid changes in retail promotion over the past decade, largely brought on by the internet, experts continue to recognize print advertising as an important marketing outlet Bowman, J. (2002). Among the array of print advertising options available, celebrity endorsers, including athletes, are widely presumed to be an effective method of promoting retail merchandise (Constanzo and Goodnight, 2005).
Thus, trends in the use of sports celebrities to endorse retail products in print advertising are of particular interest to retailers seeking to gain optimum benefits from their own and their brand partners’ advertising investments. Companies such as Gillette opted to use famous sports people such as Tiger Woods, Thierry Henry and Roger Federer to advertise their new production lines of their Mach 3 products. Famous athletes such as these and other celebrities are widely used in advertising to improve consumers’ product recall and positively influence their brand choice behaviour (Shimp, 2003; Bowman, 2002).
Celebrity athletes bring with their endorsement, consumer recognition and image awareness of the brands they represent (Keller, 1998). Such endorsements are a key component in driving the sales of retail products and enhancing manufacturers’ stock value (Mathur et al. , 1997; Agrawal and Kamakura, 1995). Other global companies such as Nike and Adidas who are direct competitors in the sports retailing world use footballers such as the much talked about Wayne Rooney and previously David Beckham in recent weeks to increase marketing ‘hype’ about their new selection of products.
Nike and Adidas and other leading sportswear retailers not only pay these celebrities to take part in the commercial but also pay them a fee when the use their boots or other merchandise while playing on TV. Another well known example of sports advertising is the lucozade advertisement on billboards and television. Key figures such as Ronan O’Gara of Munster and Ireland Rugby team and Henry Shefflin of Kilkenny are frequently used when advertising their 33% longer endurance campaign. This campaign is an excellent example of effective advertising in the sports industry.
Target markets are specifically aimed at. Effective advertisements tie product benefits, words and images into a cohesive communication message geared toward the product’s targeted consumer (Stafford et al. , 2003). Regardless of the endorser’s role, it is imperative that the advertisement creates in the consumer an emotional tie to the athlete (Stone et al. 2003; Keller, 1993). In this way, the positive attributes of the favoured athlete are transferred to the product or brand and hence they are most likely to influence purchasing behaviour.
In recent months celebrity endorsers have come under public scrutiny and many advertisers have come to view celebrity athletes as high-risk endorsers (Alsmadi, 2006), and include in their contracts clauses which allow the brand to terminate the relationship. However on the contrary to this for some brands, when a celebrity athlete endorser receives attention – even for obnoxious personal behaviour the media coverage provides additional advertisement for the product (Enrico, 1995).
This is supported by Shuart (2007), who found that over time, the public is likely to forget the negative behaviours of athletes who engage in unlawful or otherwise socially unacceptable behaviour, remembering only their career highlights. With benefits also come costs for advertising in the sports industry which the retailer has gained through selling products or services endorsed by celebrities or athletes. In a world where it is increasingly difficult to catch consumers’ attention, celebrity endorsements are viewed as an integral art of an organization’s overall marketing plan (Temperly and Tangen, 2006). Print advertisements and in-store events/personal appearances are among the key aspects in strengthening consumers’ perceived association between the celebrity and the product endorsed. Despite the presumed success of advertising campaigns featuring athletes, little research exists to link sports celebrity endorsements with measurable economic value specific to retailers, whether the store is identified in an ad or not (Byrne et al. 2003; Agrawal and Kamakura, 1995). Research has indeed found that sport celebrity endorsements drive merchandise sales (Agrawal and Kamakura, 1995), necessarily benefiting not only manufacturers, but also the retailers which carry the endorsed brands. In addition to ongoing advertising campaigns, it appears that strong exposure of the celebrity sport endorser in the months before a product is released can create for retailer’s significant pre-sale demand for a new product.
For example, months before Reebok launched its $95 Vero baseball cleat in January 2005, its athlete endorser, Curt Schilling, had a stellar season which took him to the American League (baseball) Championship. Retailers reported that even though Schilling was not yet wearing the new cleat, the publicity had generated streams of purchase inquiries (Aoki, 2004). However what the author failed to mention is the possibility that Reebok’s competitors could have gained a competitive advantage as the consumer had to wait for the new baseball cleat to be launched.
Customers could have gone elsewhere to purchase and after all they were just purchase inquiries not actual sales. Regarding the demographic profiles, sports retailers should recognise sport celebrities may play an important part in shaping future retail consumers. In receiving messages from parents, peers, mass media and other outlets, young people undergo a process of socialisation in which they learn how to be consumers in the marketplace (Bush et al. ,2004). When featured in mass advertising, celebrity athletes serve vicariously as role models for these youthful consumers, influencing their lifestyles and consumption patterns.
Sports heroes are among the wealthiest members of a consumption-driven society, they serve as inspirational models which suggest that athlete role models have been shown to positively influence teenagers’ brand loyalty and favourable word-of-mouth communications about a product (Bush et al. , 2004). The influence of celebrity athletes on youth can be significant – a 2005 study which measured the effect of celebrity endorsements on political opinion among young adult showed that endorsement from a well-revered athlete such as hockey-great, Wayne Gretzky, could sway the subjects toward an otherwise unpopular opinion.
Interestingly, recent research shows that female teenagers are even more influenced by sports celebrities than males in the same age range (Bush et al. , 2004). McCracken (1989) has suggested that as consumers process information from an ad, they use information about the celebrity to make inferences about the product. This transfer of information from the celebrity to the product is what makes celebrity endorsements so effective. The information about the celebrity that is used by consumers includes the activities that made the person a celebrity.
For athletes, the sport that they are in is the activity that makes them a celebrity. Therefore, when an athlete endorses a product the sport forms the foundation for that endorsement. Consumer perceptions of the sport of that athlete should influence the consumer evaluation of the endorsement and of the ad. Certain sports have their own channel on digital boxes e. g. chorus, sky digital. Multi-million pound enterprises such as Manchester United, Chelsea FC have their own exclusive channel on sky where they can focus on advertising and promoting their business.
Also sports such as tennis and horse racing have their own channel on both sky and chorus. Advertisement is a big factor in the racing industry as it is crucial for race meetings to secure sponsorship for prize money and the development of the industry. As there are an enormous amount of sporting companies to choose from in the sports industry, it is necessary to choose a high profile enterprise with a marketing reputation and that company being Manchester United Football Club.
Manchester United is reputed to be the most popular football club in the world, with the highest average home attendance in Europe. The club’s worldwide fan base includes more than 200 officially recognised branches of the Manchester United Supporters Club (MUSC), in at least 24 countries. The club takes advantage of this support through its worldwide summer tours. Accountancy firm and sports industry consultants Deloitte estimate that Manchester United has 75 million fans worldwide, while other estimates put this figure closer to 333 million.
Manchester United has been described as a global brand; a 2009 report valued the club’s trademarks and associated intellectual property at ?329 million. In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked Manchester United second only to the New York Yankees in its list of the ten most valuable sports team brands, valuing the Manchester United brand at $285 million – 16 percent of the club’s $1. 835 billion value (figures from official MUFC website). With such a large potential and existing consumer base Manchester United have the scope and power to continue to advertise all over the world in markets such as Asia and America.
Due to an increasingly international marketplace with multinational companies selling their products around the world, the issue of advertising products across countries has received considerable attention. Two basic and opposing approaches to international advertising can be identified. The localisation (adaptation) approach requires that advertisers focus on the differences between countries in order to develop advertising messages that are tailored to local markets. Proponents of this approach emphasise cultural uniqueness.
In order to be successful, advertising needs to reflect differences in needs, wants, values, traditions, language, and economic variables (Britt, 1974; Nielsen, 1963;) . The standardisation (globalisation) approach, on the other hand which Manchester United engages in, focuses on the similarities between countries and develops global advertising campaigns which eliminate the need for adaptation to local conditions. Proponents of this approach see the world as a “global village” in which the differences between countries are diminished nd where consumers have developed similar needs and wants (Levitt, 1983 😉 such as Jerseys, tracksuits and many other products. People from different parts of the world all want the same Manchester United product. A question needs to be addressed, whether the purchase requires a high or low level of involvement on the part of the consumer (Bowen & Chaffee, 1974). Regarding the high level of involvement more information will be addressed to the consumer to remove the uncertainty and risk associated with the decision.
Advertisers considering effective advertising are likely to adopt more hard sell, aggressive approaches in such instances. Advertisers at this enterprise realise how important sponsorship is the sports industry. Manchester United’s sponsors include: · Aon · Nike · Audi · Betfair – betting exchange · Thomas Cook · Turkish Airlines · Singha · Kumho Tires · Conchay Toro Sponsorships are a growing communication form, and are defined by a sponsor (i. . a brand or firm) providing cash and/or other compensation in exchange for access to an object’s commercial potential (i. e. exposure and association with the cause, event, organisation or individual related to a sport, cultural, and/or non-profit entity) (Cornwell et al. , 2005). The above sponsors try to advertise their products and services during game time especially at pitch side. Electronic billboards are used extensively throughout the football season and update every 30 seconds so the consumer an process the message or logo on show. The sponsors are using Manchester United’s brand recognition to promote their individual service. The increased media coverage is also one reason that approximately two-thirds of all sponsorship spending is directed at sporting events, leagues, teams, and players. While sponsoring is an increasingly important communication tool, relatively few attempts have been made to measure and understand the effects of sponsorship (Cornwell et al. , 2005 ;).
The most common type of sponsorship effects research is the simple measurement of sponsor logo exposure time during coverage of a sponsored event such as a soccer match. However this is clearly inappropriate for evaluating high-level sponsorship effects such as attitude and/or behavioural change. A question that springs to mind is whether sponsorship is an effective advertising mechanism in the sports industry? Theorist’s opinions differ. A frequent criticism of the sponsorship industry has been the lack of attention paid to measuring sponsorship effects relative to the investments made (Crompton, 2004; Currie, 2004).
Although sponsorship and cause-related-marketing managers frequently have high-level goals for their advertising programs that can include favourable image transfer, attitude enhancement, higher sales, and improved brand equity (Cornwell et al. , 2001; Ginner and Eaton, 1999;) recent surveys of major sponsors have found that large portions spend little or nothing on the measurement of effects and/or use measures that are inappropriate to their communication goals. With that said, Manchester United’s revenue comes from sales of tickets and memorabilia promoted through advertising.
Their online advertising has sky rocketed in the last decade. Online advertising is effective from either of two points of view: branding or direct response. Ads using the larger, more compelling ad sizes are generally most effective. Bigger ads do a superior job at branding. They provide a broader canvas on which to deliver a provocative message, and the relative size of the ad is greater in comparison to the other content on the page. The takeaway, when considering any branding metric such as awareness, favorability, or propensity to consume, is that the larger ads deliver an increased/improved branding message.
That same creative message also increases the likelihood that a user will in fact interact with the ad; hence, bigger ads actually are good at driving up direct response, too. As stated in David Whitley’s Strategy, Technologies and applications, ‘dynamic ad placement goes hand in hand with larger, compelling ad sizes’. In the sports industry, the quality of the creative message remains one of the largest determiners of whether a user acts on it, but it’s important to remember that the bigger ads are effective only if the sports advertiser works to keep them seen.
Ad units need to be dynamically positioned and repositioned on a Web page to ensure that the audience sees the ad and doesn’t become accustomed to static placement to the point where users expect the ad and subconsciously tune it out because of placement, regardless of creative merit. One solution to this is described in the ‘Journal of Business strategy’ as oscillating the ad units. For example, it’s a good thing to oscillate or rotate different ad sizes and locations on the page with respect to the “content” within the same kind of pages that users frequent in order to insure that they are not “tuned out. Successful sports advertisers will develop compelling, creative campaigns and make sure their messages don’t get stale as they try to promote and sell products. Years ago, the promise of Web advertising was one-to one marketing. Ad targeting has come a long way. Marketers know exactly whom they want to reach and publishers need to have the means to deliver a targeted market to the right users. Some Web publishers have aggregated users into affinity or life stage groups and are merchandising their sites to appeal to specific audience segments that are most desirable to advertisers.
In the sports industry advertisers collect registration data because it is a powerful means for targeting users by age, geography and gender. That registration-derived user data can also be used to manage. As data is collected it is also important to factor in consumer behaviour and how these consumers are going to react when they see the online advert. By understanding Consumer Behaviour, it allows companies to engage in relationship marketing techniques. “Relationship Marketing is an overt attempt by exchange partners to build a long term association” (Mowen and Hinor, 1998).
Also depicted in (Mowen and Hinor 1998) are factors such as focused differentiation, customer loyalty and constant interaction. A company must be able to change its behaviour towards an individual customer based on what they know about that customer. No two customers are alike. It is necessary to build enduring one-to-one relationships with customers through constant interaction. The ultimate aim of relationship marketing is to create increased customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is one of the most significant contributors to profitability which all advertisers strive on.
It strengthens market position because customers are kept away from competition. Customers also become less sensitive to price competition. It increases cross-selling opportunities to long term customers while increasing referrals from loyal customers. It also reduces marketing costs (customer churn). Regarding online advertising data can be collected through online market research which can be treated as a resource that can aid significantly in the focused differentiation process by producing the basis for finely tuned sales and marketing techniques. This is known as data mining.
Data mining aids in a range of marketing and advertising techniques such as market segmentation: identify the common characteristics of buyers of similar products, Customer churn analysis: Predict customers that may leave and go to a competitor (cost of acquiring new customers versus cost of retaining existing customer). A question must be asked why advertisers are adapting to online advertising in the sports industry. It is clearly stated in Kalakota & Winston (frontiers of electronic commerce pg 478-84) benefits range between ‘basic cost reductions and productivity benefits’ to more ‘strategic benefits’.
Strategic Benefits arise where information systems are designed to derive sustainable competitive advantage. Gaining competitive advantages in such a tough industry is crucial to sports advertisers in all fields. Direct benefits include reduced transaction costs – elimination of paperwork; labour cost savings, Improved cash flow – faster processing and exchange of information, Reduced inventory levels – shorter order cycle; reduced order costs, Higher information quality – increased timeliness, accuracy and accessibility of information.
Kalakota & winston also demonstrates the indirect benefits of the online advertising adaption such asIncreased operational efficiency – improved internal operations due to time and cost reduction and better information management, Better customer service – shorter lead-times; more timely information about transaction status and Increased ability to compete – increased ability to reach new markets; increased ability to provide better service at a lower cost. As advertisers try to target both male and female customers with their creative messages both online and other forms is there a difference in attitude or perception from either sex?
Differences have been seen in male and female web users’ perceptions of web advertising (Schlosser et al. 1999). Discerning gender advertising effectiveness differences offers direct marketers the opportunity to spend money advertising in a more targeted fashion. Studies concerning males’ versus females’ general advertising effectiveness levels indicate that gender differences are apparent. Market segmentation in positioned on the fact that it meets several requirements for successful advertising: · Identifying ability · Accessibility · Measurability Responsiveness to marketing mix elements · Profitability (Darley and Smith 1995) Gender is a key variable for marketing analysis along several dimensions including advertising effectiveness.
If gendered advertising beliefs, attitudes and consumer behaviour patterns exist, it is vital for advertisers to recognise them, understand them, and use them to design gender specific advertisements. Assessing similarities and differences between Web advertising and other media advertising is paramount. Regarding traditional gendered advertising effectiveness, little is known about gendered dvertising effectiveness via the more novel Web. The web possesses characteristics such as constant message delivery, audience selectivity, multimedia capacity, measurable effects, global reach; audience controlled advertising exposure and interactivity, making it an advertising medium as well as customer communications forum. Compared with other media, the Web provides a more level playing field for effective advertising in the sports industry as there is more access to opportunities, share of voice and cost structures are fairly equal to players of all sizes (Schlosser et al. 1999). Conclusion
Engaging in such an industry could be quite daunting to a potential newly recruited advertiser for a major sporting firm. With that said, identification of the factors mentioned throughout the review may be of some benefit. The study of celebrities as endorsers of products has found increased interest from researchers in the past decade. This is understandable considering the staggering amounts of money spent by marketers upon endorsements. Research was conducted to provide retailers, marketers and brand owners’ useful information regarding trends in the use of sports celebrities to promote retail products in national print media.
Due to the fact that celebrities in advertising are known to influence brand choice behaviour and drive retail sales, the researchers believe that many of the finding studies may be meaningful to retailers in the context of varied advertising formats. Stone et al. ’s (2003) study was an exploratory look at the frequency with which marketer’s use athletes as endorsers of products. While trying to increase image awareness of the brands endorsements are a key component in driving the sales of retail products and enhancing manufacturers’ stock value.
Regardless of what industry in being examined profitability is the major objective for the majority of firms. Target markets are specifically aimed at and research has been scanned to target and evaluate sales throughout the given industry. Volumes of advertising such as sponsorship and online advertising have certainly increased in the last quarter of a century. As brand recognition grows throughout the world, advertiser’s need to have devised ways and plans to meet the increase in demand whether it be just by word of mouth of interaction on the internet.
By monitoring and seeking to gain competitive advantage over competitor’s factors such as the sponsorship deals have become a very good way of promotion. Dimension such as bigger, colourful and more authentic online positioning has also come to many an advertiser’s attention due to the growth in technology. It is now easier than ever to purchase sports products over the net and also in shops with pre order’s and next day deliveries put in place to enhance consumer spending. Marketing positioning and advertising campaigns now have to be launched at the right times and also promoted as productively as possible. The Web provides a more level playing field for effective advertising in the sports industry.
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