On December 10, 2020, French footballer Antoine Griezmann announced on Instagram his contract engagement (four years, and two more years in negotiations) to his community of 31.8 million subscribers. Hawaii, a Chinese smartphone company, is suspected of participating in surveillance by the Muslim Uyghur community in China.
In his post signed and signed, the 2018 World Champion writes:
“Following strong suspicions that Hawaii has contributed to the development of Uyghur Alert thanks to facial recognition software, I declare an immediate end to my partnership with this company. I take this opportunity to invite Hawaii to take over. Within the community ”.
Examples of Dismissals If the Brigade, they are usually concerned about the company terminating the contract by the actions of the personalities, as shown in our book Marketing and Celebrities Published by Editions Dunode in 2014. For example, in 2009 golfer Tiger Woods lost several contracts following his revelations of prostitution. In 2012, cyclist Lance Armstrong Published by several sponsors After the American Anti-Doping Agency convinced him that it was a doping.
A rare endeavor among celebrities
However, cases of celebrities abandoning a sponsorship contract for ethical reasons are very rare. In general, personalities condemn the actions of unincorporated companies through campaigns that can go as far as boycotts.
For example, in September 2020, many American stars (including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) decided they no longer exist Do not post anything on Instagram and Facebook for 24 hours, Acts as a relay for associations accusing social networks of participating in spreading hateful and deceptive content.
In the case of “Chriso”, the Canadian singer suddenly remembered The Weekend Stopped his cooperation With the clothing brand H&M, in early 2019, after the sale of a child-worn sweatshirt emblazoned with “The Best Monkey in the Jungle”, we can question the purpose of the gesture, between responsible commitment and communication strategy.
In fact, celebrities become brands by creating “brand equity” based on their reputation and their image, but in practice and business terms, such as growing companies with their name Basketball player Michael Jordan.
As a result, by signing an endorsement agreement and merging with another business entity, these “popular brands” may benefit from their partner-related properties (star being a Rolex ambassador). Of course, these associations of images can turn negative, so people are ashamed to associate with accusations of racist, sexual, espionage, or other attacks on their sponsor that could damage the celebrity brand.
Actor George Clooney, Nesspro Ambassador, This is exactly what happened Expressed his dissatisfaction Last February, after some working conditions were revealed in the Channel 4 documentary on British Channel: Nesspro was accused of hiring very young children at the rate of eight hours a day for work six days a week. Farms in Guatemala.
Antoine Griezmann appears to be an athlete who is obligated and very “banker”, which need not be paradoxical. In a game that is often criticized for players’ bad behavior, F.C. The Barcelona player is not necessarily new, in line with the trend of determined footballers with echoes and vibrations of news on social networks. powerful.
From Ivorian striker Didier Trokpa, Goodwill Ambassador President of the United Nations Development Program and a Foundation named after him, its health, women, education and child priorities, and youth Marcus Rashford, Invested heavily in the fight against poverty until the British government, surpassed the star Cristiano Ronaldo Donations from three maintenance units For Portuguese hospitals to help them cope with the corona virus infection, athletes no longer hesitate to engage in “providing” funding or material for media visibility and / or various other causes.
Hawaii is a new crisis
In Antoine Griezmann, it was without a critique, from the slightest celebration of a goal (one of which took the codes of the Fortnight video game), to the frequent changes of hairstyle (like everything else) that Chrisman apparently impressed a lot with Britain’s David Beckham) through contact. Thus, in the middle of the 2018 World Cup, the release of the documentary announcing his stay at Atletico de Madrid was televised on “End” as American basketball player LeBron James left the team. Owned by Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010.
Therefore, secession from the country of Hawaii can be taken to mean a bold and honest commitment to help promote a cause that is largely unknown to the general public and a communication activity that can enhance its own business.
While it is certain that Griezmann’s news will have a significant impact on the public in a case that is less publicized and commented on without this Instagram news, the Chinese brand is already facing a number of controversies related to international Intelligence suspicion It goes beyond the simple question of representing a real diplomatic issue on behalf of the Chinese government, and especially in the United States.
In the case of Griezmann, the Chinese company defended itself by saying:
“In the field of facial recognition we do not develop algorithms or applications, but only general purpose technologies In terms of international standards Machine learning and artificial intelligence ”.
Whatever the truth, will this report be sufficient to dispel suspicions? In fact, a representative of the Hawaiian company declared in 2017 when the French footballer became the brand ambassador: “Antoine Griezmann has the ability to react to his community, it’s a natural and direct person, and it’s what interests us.” Now an argument that could change against its communication strategy.