Tag Archives: consumer behavior

Top Marketable Athletes of 2017

Athletes and sports events play a major role in marketing. An individual celebrity who endorses a product can often be seen as an effective spokesperson.  But not always… Think back on athletes who have been dropped as spokespeople after a fall from grace such as Tiger Wood, Lance Armstrong, Michael Vick, etc.

What does it take to make the public view an athlete as a positive role-model, and when do companies employ these people? According to Nielsen Research’s N-Score Talent Tracker, in order for a celebrity to be marketable she or he needs to be likeable, influential, and stylish, savvy on social media, and have a strong public following. Not an easy feat to achieve when the athlete does not always have a home court advantage.

The following is the list of the top marketable athletes in the U.S. in 2017, topped by two strong female athletes:

  1. Serena Williams (N-Score 83) – for winning the Australian Open while pregnant. Her N-Score of 83 topped all pro athletes, even after taking maternity leave and not competing for the remainder of 2017.
  2. Venus Williams (N-Score 79) – landed the number two position thanks to a great comeback tennis season with top results at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
  3. LeBron James (N-Score 76) – not a stranger to the top list as he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their third straight NBA Final.
  4. Eli Manning (N-Score 76) – for his two-time Super Bowl MVP.
  5. Tom Brady (N-Score 75) – a four-time Super Bowl MVP.

It’s not always easy for any celebrity to become an effective brand ambassador. The celebrity’s built-in fan base usually comes with specific consumer behaviors and purchases.

Who is your preferred athlete to be a brand spokesperson?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the Nielsen rating article: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2017/tops-of-2017-pro-athlete-marketability.html
  2. Discuss the communication process: sender, encoding, message, medium, decoding, and receiver.
  3. What role do celebrity endorsements play in the communications and marketing roles?
  4. What features make an athlete an effective spokesperson for a product or brand?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify 10 different athletes that they have seen endorse products.
  6. Are these successful, or unsuccessful, spokespeople?
  7. Finally, select a number of industries or products and have students discuss which athletes best fit the product.

Source:  Nielsen Research

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For Valentine’s Day, a Pizzeria Made of Chocolate


In keeping with the season of love and Valentine’s Day, Canadian food company Dr. Oetker opened a pop-up pizzeria in Toronto that was entirely made of chocolate! Yes, you read this correctly; the whole restaurant is made of chocolate. Not only is the pizza made of chocolate, but so is everything else in the restaurant. This includes tables, walls, artwork, light fixtures, flowers, and even the pizza oven is made of chocolate. (Not sure why the oven doesn’t melt.)

If all this still isn’t enough chocolate for you, even a chocolate diamond was created! Heart In Diamond, a man-made diamond company, broke down a Cioccolato chocolate pizza into powder form, then placed it into a high-pressure, high-temperature oven for 120 days and created a half-carat diamond ring.

The unique chocolate dessert pizza has a chocolate crust and is topped with chocolate sauce, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate shavings, and white chocolate chunks.

Feeling a sugar rush?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is the craziest thing they have ever seen made of chocolate?
  2. Show the video: https://youtu.be/9AbGf374dt0
  3. Show the pizza on the company Web site: http://www.oetker.ca/ca-en/our-products/ristorante-thin-crust/cioccolato/cioccolato.html
  4. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  5. What is the target market for this product?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of the target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  7. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?

Source:  Brandchannel.com (12 Feb., 2018). World’s first chocolate pizzeria is open through Valentine’s Day.

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Will You Be My Valentine?

Love is in the air. And, it is also in the aisle (store aisle that is). When true love is on the line, Americans are ready to spend. According to the National Retail Federation, spending on Valentine’s Day this year is projected to be nearly $19.6 billion! That’s an average of $143.56 for each American.

What kind of love tokens will be given? Well, roughly 19% will give (and receive) jewelry for a total of $4.7 billion, and 35% of us will go out for a romantic dinner. Sigh…

Other statistics that show how much we love:

  • 55% give candy to loved ones (especially chocolate)
  • 114 million Valentine’s cards will be given
  • 9 million marriage proposals offered

And it doesn’t stop with our beloved partners. It extends to schools, where we spend an average of $7.26 on children’s classmates and teachers, and on our pets who receive $5.50 worth of goodies. Even our co-workers get in the action with an average of $4.79 spent.

Finally, “gifts of experience” such as concert or event tickets are popular and 24% of people plan to give such a gift. Lest we forget about mobile, more than 50% plan to use their smartphones to help with decisions, and 36.9% will use smartphone to research gift giving.

What did you give and receive?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What did they give, and receive, on Valentine’s Day?
  2. Show a video on spending for Valentine’s Day: http://cnn.it/2Bsoigt
  3. Show NRF graphs on spending: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-says-consumers-will-spend-near-record-196-billion-valentines-day
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a unique promotion for a Valentine’s Day experience gift.
  5. Have students vote on the most creative idea.

Source:  National Retail Federation

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