Debate over Trump pits CEOs against marketable clients

Global Business

A new debate may be pitting company CEOs with their chief marketable talent and U.S. President Donald Trump may be at the center of this divide.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

Reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry is one of the most recognizable athletes around the world. He is an NBA champion, a role model, and one of the faces of sportswear company Under Armour.

The Golden State Warriors guard is becoming increasingly influential off the court as well.

Curry’s opposition to Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank’s appearing to back President Trump triggered a firestorm of criticism aimed at the firm.

Curry was backed by fellow Under Armour clients including wrestler, turned actor, Dwayne Johnson and ballet dancer Misty Copeland.

CEO Kevin Plank was able to contain the fallout by clarifying his position.

But marketing experts say this example is a warning sign for companies.

“It’s a dangerous paradigm we’re in for brands now. The truth is you’ve never had a brand for President and you need to be able to be very careful about what you do. Otherwise, you’re going to end up in a lot of trouble,” founder and president of Brand Keys Robert Passikoff said.

Brand Keys research finds these endorsements are important. The company says A-listers can add up to 20 percent to a company’s value.

Dean Crutchfield on the debate over CEOs against marketable clients

For more on Trump supporting companies’ facing backlash from celebrity sponsors, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with international brand consultant, Dean Crutchfield.