So Nike has officially suspended its contract with Oscar. No surprise there really.http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a460510/oscar-pistorius-nike-contract-is-suspended.html
The same goes for the sponsors of Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong who all hurried to distance themselves from their chosen famous face in the wake of scandals. And who can blame them?
The image and reputation of a well-established brand is worth millions and needs to be tightly controlled. However, one element that can’t be controlled is the actions of celebrities that are paid to endorse the product in question.
If a celebrity goes off piste, the PR team of the business needs to balance the damage caused by any misdemeanours with the impact of continuing or terminating the relationship. On some occasions it’s very clear cut, in other cases it’s a fine balance. For example, both Nike and EA Sports opted to keep hold of Tiger Woods during his recent controversy. Likewise, Rimmel London and Christian Dior kept Kate Moss in their ad campaigns in the wake of the drugs allegations.
Either way, public opinion has a major part to play in the company’s decision. The brand’s allegiance with a famous face has to be in line with public perception or the resulting negative column inches will undo the company’s carefully crafted reputation.
Big money sponsorship deals may secure a celebrity association, but ultimately it’s reputation that matters.