Quickly ask yourself, "Which brands are currently dominating the athlete endorsement landscape?"
It may take you a moment to think through the thousands of commercials, print adverts, and banner ads that you have been exposed to in just the past few days but you likely will net out on the likes of Nike, adidas, and Red Bull. But what other brands come to mind? Gatorade? Gillette? Subway? DirecTV? Pepsi? ... The question may be a little tougher than you originally thought because not enough brands are doing it well.
One brand that has emerged in the athlete endorsement space over the past few years is Vitamin Water. While the brand has aligned with some of sports' biggest stars (Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, etc.) it's not the athletes themselves that have driven Vitamin Water's notability in the space. More so, it's the brand's fundamental strategy of leveraging athlete endorsers by showing their true personalities on-camera.
While some companies get lost in the struggle of trying to force-fit an athlete endorser to align with the attributes of its brand, Vitamin Water does a tremendous job showcasing the true personalities of its athlete endorsers first (after all, that's what consumers really want to see) and then finding a unique way to tie their brand into the mix. The end result? Vitamin Water's viral spots are humorous, educational, and remarkably unforgettable.
Check out a terrific viral spot the brand recently unveiled starring Kobe Bryant (luckily before his subpar Game 7 performance during the 2010 NBA Finals). Nonetheless, the viral is extremely well done and is exactly what fans want - Kobe's true personality off the court!