Philanthropy: Donations to boost celebrity imagery

Philanthropy: Donations to boost celebrity imagery

It’s not just charities that win in big public announcements. The root of engagement is that donors are becoming more popular, for better… and for worse.

• Also read: misleading words

• Also read: PK Subban has not lived up to its promise to raise $10 million for sick children

According to the renowned professor of the marketing department of UQAM, André Richelieu, every action is worth its weight in gold. However, you must keep your promise.

“Unfortunately, sport today has essentially become a lever to generate excessive money,” explains the sports marketing expert. We find ourselves in a logic of the “financialization” of sport. Athletes try to strengthen and monetize their brand image. »

It’s worth remembering that upon his arrival with the Canadiens in 2010, Subban had begun developing his brand. He also told it in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports.

Athletes and personalities who give massively enter the popular imagination. This $10 million gift from Subban is among his greatest achievements. His social commitment also earned him the cover of Global Heroes magazine in February 2021.

After winning hearts, fans have been applauding him since that day in September 2015 when he held a whopping $10 million check for children. And the former Canadian defender is using it to boost his image. He cheerfully talks about it when questioned on the subject.

He talked about it as if it were real until correcting the facts in a press release yesterday after following questions from our Bureau of Investigation for about ten days.

A strong brand

“This donation is about the impact I can have,” he replied to a colleague at the QMI agency when asked about the commitment two days before his most recent honor at the Bell Center.

“I couldn’t say no,” he added, without denying the amount given. I often tell people that I don’t have a bad day in my life. That makes me really, really happy. I can look in the mirror and think I can help others instead of myself.”

However, seven years later, Subban’s public image continues to benefit from this support for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“A strong brand generates more sponsorship and revenue. Athletes who are involved in the community strengthen their image. They convey a likeable, friendly and warm image. That’s positive,” explains Thomas KB Koo, Professor and PhD in Marketing at the University of Laval’s Faculty of Administration.

“A partnership is two-way beneficial for both the athlete and the cause they support,” he continues. In the case of Mr. Subban, it’s entirely possible that he’s strengthened his brand image and that’s bringing him some monetary value. »

The backlash

But without having fully kept his promise in the long term, marketing experts believe that this commitment could damage the image.

“People are attached to brands, which is a double-edged sword. The bond can be as strong as the deep wound, Professor Koo says. Those who believe strongly in PK Subban and his involvement with the hospital may feel betrayed. In this case, they would be disappointed and much less forgiving of the image of that “brand”. »

“A brand is a promise,” adds Professor Richelieu. Failure to meet financial obligations can contribute to damaging it and negatively affecting the athlete’s reputation. »

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