5 brand ambassadors we love in 2020

A brand ambassador isn’t a one-and-done endorsement of a product or brand. It’s a deeper partnership based on aligned values and passion.

A good brand ambassador can be hard to come by. Finding someone with a strong, engaged following who aligns with your brand values and purpose can take time and money - before you even get to signing a contract.

(Psst, Pickstar has a way to take the hassle out of finding a brand ambassador. Browse stars, enter your details and budget and our platform will do the rest)

But finding that perfect brand ambassador is worth it. They bring with them an instant legion of engaged fans and the ability not just to drive consideration of your brand or product, but real revenue - especially when leveraged effectively.

We’ve put together a list of some of the brand ambassadors we love in 2020.> Guide: How to build a plan for your brand ambassador

Caroline Buchanan and Nutri-Grain

Without struggle and setbacks comes no growth

Caroline Buchanan

This is the first line from Buchanan’s 2018 Road to Recovery mini-documentary, a year she spent most of recovering from various injuries. Collapsed lungs, broken sternum, a broken nose, internal bleeding just to name a few.

But that didn’t hold one of Australia’s favourite athletes back, she worked relentlessly to recover from her injuries in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (now scheduled for 2021).

It made her a natural fit for Nutri-Grain, says Kellog’s ANZ Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Tamara Howe.

“As a brand that speaks to the strength in overcoming adversity, it felt natural for us to have Caroline Buchanan onboard as a Nutri-Grain ambassador. Caroline’s story is filled with passion, grit, and focused determination – a story that is synonymous with what Nutri-Grain stands for,” Howe said.> Find out how Kellog's aligns brand values in sport to drive marketing success

As a brand ambassador, Buchanan has been involved in a TVC and a content series called Unstoppable. You can watch the first episode below.

Caroline Buchanan is available to book on the Pickstar platform, check out her profile here.

String Nguyen and Lenovo

String might not be a household name (yet!), but she’s got a strong following on the key business platform of LinkedIn.

She’s quirky, makes killer content, and is well-respected amongst professionals for her advice on LinkedIn marketing and personal brand marketing.

And the brand alignment, as String puts it, is about “people, technology and business”.

Lenovo did their homework here and understood she’s a perfect fit for three reasons:

  • She fits their brand (and so do her followers). She’s young, vibrant, and versatile, exactly what Lenovo are selling their products as.
  • She’s a content creator, which makes the content she creates for Lenovo genuine
  • Lenovo laptops make her life easier. You can see String using a Lenovo laptop every day to take calls, map out designs and set up wherever her day may take her

The partnership has so far included some great video content (see below) and insightful posts on LinkedIn from String about how she works with her Lenovo laptop.

LeBron James and Nike

As this blog is being typed, LeBron James is involved in his 9th NBA Finals appearance in the past 10 years.

And while it may seem like a cop-out for this list to include the biggest name in the NBA, Nike knew what they were doing when they locked him into a lifetime (yes, lifetime!) partnership worth a cool $1 billion.

Sure, they’re obviously paying for access to his millions of followers.

But they’re also buying into his work ethic - something that aligns beautifully with Nike’s motto of “Just Do It”.

For years, Nike has been focused on taking the average person and turning them into an athlete - whatever that may look like for them.

And while very few of us will be at LeBron’s level (this writer wishes he had the talent of LeBron’s little finger), it’s about his drive, his passion, and his against all odds story that we buy into.

The kid from very humble beginnings in Akron, Ohio who went on to become one of the greatest NBA players of all time. And he continues to - despite his age - perform at the highest level. Hard work. Commitment. Passion.> How do elite athletes weigh up commercial opportunities?

Adam Gilchrist and Resimac

There are plenty of sexy brand ambassador partnerships in the sporting world. Most people think of the big clothing brands like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok in this space. And while they’re great examples of athlete-brand partnerships, if you look a little closer to home, you’ll see some great alignments right here in Australia.

Non-bank Mortgage lender Resimac welcomed Adam Gilchrist as a brand ambassador in late 2019.

You might think the fit here is an unusual one. Dashing wicketkeeper-batsman talking about mortgage lenders, what’s Gilly got to do with that?

But dig a little deeper and you’ll see this partnership works for a few reasons:

  • Gilchrist is very much loved by cricket fans, especially those in their mid-20s to 50s, who’ll remember his 57-ball century against England back in 2006. That same age group lines up nicely with Resimac’s when you consider when most people buy houses
  • Credibility. Customer. Community. These are the values Gilly says attracted him to Resimac. And he brings all three to the table too. He’s very much seen as a trustworthy and credible guy, he’s always treated his fans well and he’s got a strong focus on community, including work with Ronald McDonald House and the Australia Day Council
  • Gilchrist drives instant consideration for Resimac. Consumers tend not to have a strong affiliation with any mortgage lender. So when your favourite cricketer mentions a mortgage lender, you’re likely to at very least consider that company when looking around

Adam Gilchrist is available on the Pickstar platform, check out his profile here.

Daniel Ricciardo and Optus

A telecommunications company focused on the speed of their network. An F1 driver focused on, well, obviously, speed.

Ricciardo was quite an easy choice as brand ambassador for Optus.

“Just like our 5G network, Daniel is all about speed and performance and is the perfect partner to work with,” Optus’ Managing Director of Marketing and Revenue, Matt Williams said.

It was the brand alignment around an athlete who understands the importance of high performance, innovation through technology, testing, and learning, and communication and teamwork, according to Williams.

And for Aussies watching Ricciardo dominate the F1 scene, they’ll see Optus’ iconic ‘Yes’ on the front of his helmet during races.

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo with the iconic 'Yes' from Optus on his helmet. Source: Optus

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