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SBD Global/August 20, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

UAE Industry Experts: Ronaldo, KFC Arabia Endorsement Shows Change In Branding

Cristiano Ronaldo's KFC endorsement is a case study for Arabian brands.
UAE industry experts said that "it is evident that brands who link up with high profile athletes are more likely to see a return on their investment than using unknown actors," according to Alexander Cornwell of GULF NEWS. KHP Consulting Head of Business Development Anwar Shaikh said that "research shows that athletes had a positive effect on brand consumption." Shaikh said, "The day an endorsement is announced, there tends to be an increase in sales and in company stocks." Shaikh "estimated a regional brand endorsement by an athlete" to be worth as much as $2M. But he said that "there were a lot of variables to consider," including the profile of the individual and length of endorsement. Cristiano Ronaldo is the face of KFC Arabia, "featuring on several online platforms and outdoor advertisements." Abu Dhabi sports and entertainment marketing agency Fast Track Middle East Dir Mike Davis said that "it was all about how many products the company wanted to sell." Davis: "From a brand's point of view, you have to look at it in the context of the overall business and marketing objectives." Davis said that "a campaign with an athlete was ultimately judged on sales." Spanish sports management firm Media Base Digital Middle East Area Manager Max Roures said that it was not just the financial return "but also how consumers were engaged throughout the campaign." He said that "the consumer trust in a product or brand can increase" by as much as 75% (GULF NEWS, 8/18).
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