In sports, teams have always promoted themselves to bring new fans into the seats. Now, simple technology has attracted athletes to begin promoting themselves independent of their team franchise. The only issue with the self-promotion by athletes is that it is not controlled by marketers, but by the athletes themselves who do not necessarily have advertising experience. Corporate sponsors seem to be ok with athletes making personal commercials for now – as long as they keep out any controversy.
Most athletes promote themselves relentlessly, and Web sites and blogs are almost de rigueur among sports stars. Messrs. Bosh and Nash go a step beyond that, effectively taking the creative reins from the professionals and selling themselves directly through their ads. At a time when user-generated content is all the rage, marketers and the athletes say it’s only natural that celebrities, too, would want to exert more control, and they expect more such ads to come.
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