Fandom refers to fans of sport or famous person. Research shows that sports fans do influence the business practices today. Sports team brands have astonishing power to inﬁltrate culture, particularly in the media-saturated economy of the 21st century (Guschwan 2012). .Most of the sports fans for instance like football fandom, they often watched live matches in stadium or through television. These matches act like an endorsement for the media products and licensed merchandise such as Nike. During the matches, the football players will wear their jersey sponsored by particular brand at the same time they are promoting it as well. When this fandom saw their favorite team or player wearing the latest jersey, they will get one as well. Guschwan (2012) explored that fans of any sports team are an asset of the brand, brand managers realized the usefulness of fans and are seeking to exploit fan labor. In the meantime, social media enabled the fans to easily meet online, thus created an online opportunity for the marketers to exploit the fan labor.
One famous football player I would mention is Cristiano Ronaldo who earns nearly half of his $44 million income from sponsors. Ronaldo’s 60 million Facebook fans and 20 million Twitter followers are both tops among all athletes (Badenhausen 2013). The video above shows Andy Caine, Nike Football Creative Director talks about the insights and inspiration behind Cristiano’s new collection. Ronaldo is currently in the last year of a previous five-year deal signed with Nike in 2010. The huge marketing potential for Ronaldo is pretty apparent on a global level hence Nike s looking to further lock down the world’s most popular athlete (Sneaker Report 2013). With Cristiano Ronaldo providing the star power, Nike engaged multitudes of fans. The academic discourse of fandom led by Henry Jenkins centers the consumers’/fans’ uses, needs and desires, while dealing warily with the inherent economic and power inequalities of the marketplace (Guschwan 2012). Nike does establish a page with all the endorsement products of Ronaldo (http://nikeinc.com/cristiano-ronaldo). In my opinion, celebrity endorsement is very important for a product or brand to attract the target audience to purchase the products. Sports team brands use individual stars to boost the team brand. In addition, the power of fandom does give a very big influence as well in a way that giving out full supports to their favorite celebrity.
Badenhausen, K 2013, Floyd Mayweather fans versus Cristiano Ronaldo fans on social media, accessed 27/9/2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2013/08/13/floyd-mayweather-fans-versus-cristiano-ronaldo-fans-on-social-media/
Guschwan, M 2012, Fandom, brandom and the limits of participatory culture, Journal of Consumer Culture, vol.12, no.11, pp.19-40, accessed 27/9/2013, http://joc.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/12/1/19.full.pdf+html
Snearker Report 2013, Nike reportedly working out $64 million endorsement deal for Cristiano Ronaldo, accessed 27/9/2013, http://sneakerreport.com/news/nike-reportedly-working-64-million-endorsement-deal-cristiano-ronaldo/