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Endorsements can provide a significant boost to your Net Worth!

Celebrities – particularly those in entertainment, sport and modelling – usually earn salaries that the average person can only dream about, but for many apparently this isn’t enough. To be fair, many are constantly pestered by companies selling all sorts of consumer products, to use their name, voice and/or face in endorsing particularly popular lines on sale, sometimes with rewards in excess of their ‘day job’ salary, sometimes for just one showing, but often stretching for years and even for ‘life’.

Clearly the celebrities are on to a good thing, and judging by results identified in the following selected list of the more notable and interesting endorsement deals of all time, so are the respective companies, but what do you think?

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt’s deal
How would you like to be paid $4.5 million for appearing in a 60-second TV advert? Well, that was actor Brad Pitt’s deal with Heineken in 2005 – then, the American football Super Bowl is the most watched TV program of the year in the USA, so advertising slots during the show are famously expensive, but very widely viewed, so maybe the expense was worth it. Not content with that little earner, Brad Pitt was also paid $3 million by Cadillac, for advertising their product only in China!

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts1
A pretty face always attracts attention, so actress Julia Roberts endorsement of cosmetics marketed by Lancome should be a sure-fire winner, although costing the company $50 million over five years beginning in 2010.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron's
Likewise, actress Charlize Theron’s association with cosmetics producer Dior, worth $5 million a year to her since 2005, would seem to be an appropriate investment.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta Jones
Another actress, Catherine Zeta Jones‘ endorsement of T-Mobile – her smiling face next to the ‘phone – at $20 million over five years from 2002, is difficult not to admire on both sides.

Robert Downey Jr.

Actor Robert Downey Jr.
Actor Robert Downey Jr accepted a deal with HTC in 2013 of $12 million for one year of ads to promote their smart-phones and tablets, which judging by the Taiwanese company’s success was also a shrewd arrangement for both.

50 Cent

50 Cent
The rap music genre has gained a considerable following in recent years, so when 50 Cent – already endorsing Reebok sports shoes – was identified by Glacéau Vitamin Water on an add with their drink, they quickly offered him a contract to develop Formula 50, and including shares in the company. Coca-Cola acquired the company in 2007 for $4.1 billion, of which 50 Cent received $100 million.

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Pepsi2
Another rapper, Jay-Z spread his entrepreneurial wings to include an endorsement deal with Samsung worth $20 million, which together with his singer-wife Beyonce, whose contract with drink manufacturer Pepsi signed in 2012 and is worth $50 million over 10 years, makes the couple very well-off, thank you very much!

Jessica Simpson

Singer Jessica Simpson
Singer Jessica Simpson is also a pretty face which has been put to good use – as the ‘after’ face – by skin care company Proactiv in an endorsement worth $3 million over three years. Maybe not as rewarding as some others, but if both sides to the agreement are satisfied, who’s to say that the arrangement wont be renewed?

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson with Pepsi
One of the first and relatively most expensive deals was concluded by Michael Jackson with Pepsi in 1984, at $5 million for an indefinite period. However, Pepsi concluded a deal with Jackson’s estate in 2012 to continue using his profile on their drink cans.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber
Just 16 at the time, what was it about nail polish that singer Justin Bieber would be interested in? Well maybe $12 million from OPI to advertise One Less Lonely Girl – named after his song – in 2010, a considerable contribution to the net worth of the young star.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake
McDonalds is one of THE company’s of the world for fast food, but apparently a music video by Justin Timberlake in 2003 for a fee of $6 million promoted Maccas to even greater heights.

George Clooney

George Clooney
George Clooney began promoting coffee maker Nespresso in 2005 for $5 million pa, and is still going strong, and not just in the cup or mug! George is certainly one of the most recognisable big-screen actors in the world these days, but  just switch-on your TV and you’ll see him on that too!

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman 1
Australian actress Nicole Kidman would seem to fit in very well with perfume Chanel No 5 – in 2003 she featured in a film of just three minutes for $12 million which certainly did the product no harm at all, and further advertised the actress’ profile too.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian-West
It is difficult to know how to classify Kim Kardashian, who seems to be famous for just being famous, but her business acumen can’t be faulted. In 2014 she began sponsoring the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game with Glu Mobile for 45% of net profits. So far the game is estimated to have earned $85 million in less than two years, which makes her cut …….?

LeBron James

Lebron James1
Sports goods manufacturer Nike is one of the most profitable companies in the world, regardless of goods produced, so clearly their endorsement contracts work extremely well. Sports celebrities are actually also famous for their involvement in endorsements, none more so than Cleveland Cavaliers’ basketball star LeBron James, whose deal with Nike beginning in 2013 is worth $500 million ‘for life’, actually estimated to be $30 million pa.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan
Fellow (ex-)basketballer Michael Jordan has been associated with Nike since 1984, for an initial $500,000 plus royalties ad infinitum – the current estimate is that his cut from profits amounts to over $60 million pa, including from his own, separate Air Jordan shoe brand.

Maria Sharapova

Russian Maria Sharapova1
That top tennis player, Russian Maria Sharapova, is also attractive was obviously not lost on Nike, which in 2010 signed her to a $70 million eight-year endorsement contract, working out at a base $8.75 million per year, but she also receives a percentage of sales from her product line.

Dwyane Wade

Dwayne Wade
Another basketballer, Dwyane Wade, was signed by Chinese sports shoe manufacturer Li Ning in 2012 to a $100 million 10-year partnership, as the Miami Heat star is very popular in China. However, a change is marketing strategy and increased competition from Nike and Adidas has seen the company suffer considerable losses in recent years, even in its home country.

George Foreman

George Foreman
Former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman has long been the face of the Salton kitchen appliance company, actually since the mid-90s for a 45% cut of the profits. However, in 1999 the brand had become so big that Salton bought Foreman out for $137.5 million, although he still appears in various advertising features to this day.

David Beckham

David Beckham, who Adidas
One of the most marketable sports personalities is now-retired English soccer star David Beckham, who Adidas had the foresight to sign to a $160 million lifetime arrangement in 2003, in a deal that saw him pocket $80 million up front, plus an estimated $20 million pa indefinitely.

So what do you think – are these endorsement arrangements justified from a business point of view, and who really profits the most – the company or the individual? Who else can you think of who may be worth recruiting, and by whom? Do let us know.

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