Branding the World of Sports

Endorsement Profile: Lewis Hamilton

Posted by ZA on November 5, 2008

Athlete: Lewis Hamilton
Sport: Auto Racing
League: Formula One
Team: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Manager: Anthony Hamilton (Father of Lewis)
Age: 23 (January 7, 1985)
Rank in SI’s 50 richest athletes: 11th (International version)
Endorsement value: Over $20 million per year…and about to go up.

Lewis Hamilton from

Lewis Hamilton from

Lewis Hamilton endorsement deals (thru Nov. 2008):
* Bombardier Jets (non-cash, trade deal)
* Johnny Walker Whisky (Team sponsor)
* Mobil (Team sponsor)
* Reebok
* Santander Bank (Team sponsor)
* Vodaphone (Team sponsor)

Hamilton has just begun on his journey to endorsement riches, and he’s already a major player.  The majority of his endorsements are come from car sponsors that pay his racing team, McLaren.  But when Hamilton ventured out to sign his first individual endorsement deal, he hit the jackpot.  Reebok signed Hamilton to a huge contract and agreed to pay him more than $20 million (US) dollars.  He is currently in negotiations with several global brands, including Pepsi and Sony, and will most likely sign six or more deals of that magnitude.

Lewis Hamilton’s endorsement potential:
Lewis Hamilton’s endorsement potential is off the charts.  Many are already predicting he could become the highest earning athlete of all-time, and that was before he captured his first Formula One World Championship at the age of 23.  He’s a young guy, who is popular with the ladies, and comes from a multi-racial background.  Plus he just burst on to the scene in his global sport, Formula One, and has already assumed the top position.  Sound like another famous athlete?  Yes, he does often get comparisons to Tiger Woods.  Woods is predicted to be the first athlete to earn a billion dollars, and Hamilton might just out earn him.

For companies looking to Lewis Hamilton to endorse their product, the only real drawbacks are that he participates in a very dangerous sport.  Even with the advancements made in safety, there is a risk at every race that a driver could be seriously injured or killed.  That type of risk will give pause to any company looking to give Hamilton tens of millions of dollars.  The other issue is Hamilton’s heavy responsible to promote the products of McLaren team sponsors, which could limit the time he spends promoting his personal endorsement deals.  Although sponsors shouldn’t get too preoccupied with those drawbacks, as Formula One legend Michael Schumacher had a healthy career until recently retiring at age 37.  Brands love finding sports endorsers who have the opportunity to compete at the top of their sport for many, many years.  Which Lewis Hamilton is sure to do.
Lewis Hamilton 5-star endorsement rating: 5.0

3 Responses to “Endorsement Profile: Lewis Hamilton”

  1. […] Endorsement Profile: Lewis Hamilton […]

  2. Chelsea fc said

    It’s quite amazing how much cash is involved in racing. These drivers are total studs and have loads of sponsership deals. My sport is football but I could see myself getting involved in a sport like Formula 1.

  3. […] Pablo Montoya.  Don’t believe me?  The most popular driver in Formula One right now is a Lewis Hamilton, an Englishman who is black.  Hamilton has become such a phenom on the F1 circuit that he had to […]

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