Juventus F.C. and Italian National Team center-back Leonardo Bonucci is not only one of the arguably best defenders in the world, he is also very talented when it comes to positioning brands he endorses on his Instagram, without making it look like a marketing-offense.
On 26 May 2014, Leo Bonucci posted a great picture with his son driving a toy automobile. The toy automobile was, of course, a Fiat 500. Background information: Juventus, the club where Mr Bonucci plays as a defender, is sponsored by Jeep, which is owned by Fiat. Furthermore, Fiat also owns Juventus. The above-mentioned Instagram photo also pictures Mr Bonucci wearing Nike training gear; running shoes, short pants, and a sweater. More background information: Nike is Juventus’ technical gear supplier, which makes it an obvious choice for Mr Bonucci to wear Nike also in his time off. Nevertheless, the positioning of the Nike swoosh on the pants and the way the logo faces the camera is just perfect, and no other photo could have been more adequate for an actual marketing campaign.
Of course, the photo might have been shot as a genuine family photo without any marketing or sponsorship thought in mind. However, it is a great example of how companies could use sports celebrities to market their products and their brand through sports.
An additional example is a photo by Fernando Llorente on Twitter. Mr Llorente tweeted a photo from the Juventus Stadium showing off Adidas headphones. Even though Juventus is officially sponsored by Nike, Mr Llorente endorses Adidas gear; and posing with Adidas headphones is a convenient (and subliminal) way to ambush Nike. A Coca-Cola drink can also be found in the photo. However, since Juventus is sponsored by Powerade, who are owned by the Coca-Cola Company, it is a legitimate product placement.
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