Leveraging STAR Power for Your Business
Tim Tebow…NFL quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner, and two-time BCS National Champion with the University of Florida landed at Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) on April 25, 2012. It was the largest, singular event ever hosted on CCU’s campus since its inception in 1924. His impact was felt before the event and continues well after. Tebow’s visit brought significant media attention, helped increase the university’s brand and increased fundraising.
Wikipedia defines celebrity as a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. The term is synonymous with wealth, implied with great popular appeal, prominence in a particular field, and is easily recognized by the general public.
Tebow’s celebrity stems from a unique combination of athletic success and authentic commentary about his faith. A perfect fit for a Christian university looking to connect donors, alumni, prospective students and the media. Aligning your business with a “celebrity” creates opportunity for:
- Building awareness of your business
- Driving attendance to your event
- Impacting your brand image in the marketplace
- Providing many more creative opportunities
The first categories of celebrity that come to mind are sports and entertainment.
Certain athletes carry influence in the marketplace (Lebron James, Joey Votto, Anthony Munoz, Serena Williams), but so do coaches (Tony Dungy, Doc Rivers) and sports broadcasters (Pat O’ Brien, Brent Musburger).
The entertainment field builds celebrity in movies, television, modeling (Sofia Vergara, Adriana Lima), art (Andy Warhol), radio personalities (Howard Stern), pundits (Bill O’Reilly, Bill Maher), news anchors (Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper), comedians (David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres), and others who are famous because they simply hang out with famous folks (Kim Kardashian, Chaz Bono, and any Kennedy).
In addition to a sports- or entertainment-related figure, what kind of “celebrity” aligns well with your business, your clients or your prospects?
- Business Leaders – CEO’s, successful entrepreneurs, government officials (Jack Welch of GE, Jim Collins who authored Good to Great, Blake Mycoskie of Tom’s Shoes)
- TV Show Hosts – The folks are not gurus or experts, but often leverage television to move them into celebrity status by hosting their own show (Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray)
- Real Gurus & Experts – People who have actually accomplished something and often have written a book about it (Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Orman, Jim Cramer)
Often, the best fit for a business aligning to a celebrity is due to a shared experience or belief. While Tebow’s exploits on the football field have gained him well-deserved respect, it is his authentic position on religious beliefs that makes for an effective fit with Cincinnati Christian University. CCU has never fielded a football team and the bookstore has sold T-shirts that announce with pride “CCU Football – Undefeated Since 1924” which is the year of the founding of the college!
How Does a Business Owner Leverage Star Power?
- Invite them to your business to speak – it will likely be pricey…$10-50K
- Buy their books/DVDs and give them to customers
- Get photos taken with them at industry-related events and display them in your office or place of business
- “Like” them on Facebook to find out where they may be speaking in the future and invite your prospects to the event
- Follow them on Twitter so you can quote them to your employees, clients and prospects
One of my clients, Dan Hypes, co-founder of LifePlan Financial Group, has an impactful display in his office that includes photos of Dan with President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, First Lady Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Ben Stein, James Carville, Mary Matalin and Bobby Knight. Pretty impressive bunch of folks!
What celebrities have you had your picture taken with?
Tell me about it below…