Did you know that back in the mid-1980s, the Nike brand was nowhere? In revenue terms Adidas was 50% larger. And a new entrant to the scene at the time, Reebok, would make more revenue than Nike by 1987. NBA stars of the day like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Julius Erving wore Converse.
Then Nike signed Michael Jordan. And launched the first Air Jordans. Which sold more than $100 million worth of sneakers in the first 12 months.
Today, Nike has a monopoly in the basketball sneaker business. Nike’s share, including the Jordan Brand, is nearly 90%. 77% of NBA players wore Nike or Jordan shoes during the 2019-20 season. And the top 9 models of all basketball sneakers sold today are Nikes.
Celebrity endorsements work.
They build credibility. People love their favorite celebrities. I mean, love their favorite celebrities. Case in point: the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trail. During that entire ordeal, the focus remained on Heard. Social media memes were designed to make her look unhinged. And there was very little (if any) attention paid to Depp’s role in the toxic relationship. Surely, like all relationships, it takes two to tango? But we didn’t hear anything bad about Depp. Nothing meme-worthy anyway. Because people love Captain Jack Sparrow. If Depp launched a range of (stain-resistant, obviously) 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton bed sheets, there’d be queues in Dubai Mall on launch day.
Celebrity endorsements improve ad recall. I can’t remember any ads about Yas Island before Kevin Hart. And, while I am definitely not one for theme parks, I’m considering taking the family to Yas Island. Job done.
And celebrity endorsements can open up new markets. Like what Michael Jordan did for Nike.
But celebrity endorsements do also have their issues.
For example, the celebrity’s image might change. By way of example, two words. Tiger. Woods.
And they’re usually super-expensive. George Clooney no doubt catapulted Nespresso into the coffee capsule market. But the deal with Clooney is rumored to be worth $40 million. Arguably a good investment given that, in 2021, Nespresso did $7Bn in sales. But still, 40 bar.
Specialty Coffee is a different game though. It’s not an industry in which any player has Nestlé-size budgets. But that doesn’t mean the marketing needs to be any less impactful. A carefully considered approach can deliver results. But it needs to be carefully considered. And perfectly in tune with the zeitgeist.
Which is why I really enjoyed seeing Brewista launch their range of Mariam Erin Limited Candy Edition kettles.
It’s a collaboration with the 2021 UAE National Brewers Cup Champion, Mariam Erin. The kettles are a result of the design she competed with at the World Brewers Cup 2021, in Milan. Of the colors she said: “Each kettle colors on my routine reflects the flavors of the coffee that I presented.” So perfect for someone who is also an accomplished painter.
The kettles are still Brewista at heart. They still have the ergonomic, comfort-grip handle, the gooseneck spout for an easier, more controlled pour, the electronic temperature control LCD panel, the flash boil and keep warm settings and the 1.0 Liter capacity. But are now more beautiful. Like the soul of the artist that inspired them.
I’ve spent time with Mariam. I wrote about her for this magazine. And interviewed her for Brewing Gadgets. So I can personally attest to the fact that Brewista made a good investment here. It is carefully considered. And perfectly in tune with the zeitgeist.