Celebrity spokespeople often increase retail brand awareness and, thus, boost sales. However, the extent of this sales boost may come as a surprise. Consider, for example, Troy Aikman’s sponsorship of the Wingstop restaurant group. According to the Dallas Business Journal, Wingstop reported 23 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases since Aikman first appeared as a national sponsor of the wing restaurant. Additionally, Aikman’s sponsorship is credited with helping Wingstop expand to over 650 locations open or under development nationwide. D Magazine writes that, as a result of this boost, Wingstop recently extended Aikman’s promotional contract for an additional 3 years.
Further, the authenticity of a celebrity restaurant promoter’s endorsement may proportionately correlate to the success of the restaurant. As quoted in D Magazine and the Dallas Business Journal, Troy Aikman announced, “It’s great to continue on this venture with Wingstop . . . I remember first discovering their wings back when I was playing with the Cowboys, and I’m still as big a fan now as I was then. It’s been amazing to watch them grow from a few restaurants in Texas into a national brand, and I’m proud to be part of that.” His genuine affinity for Wingstop is apparent and may enhance the effect his endorsement has on Wingstop’s sales.
In observing the results set forth by Wingstop and other restaurant celebrity endorsements, an appropriate celebrity spokesperson could significantly boost a restaurant’s sales and brand image/recognition.
However, there may be some legal complications. For instance, what is the structure of the agreement with the celebrity? Will the fees paid to the celebrity outweigh their promotional value? More importantly, what happens if the celebrity commits a crime or other embarrassing act? Will that bad circumstance negatively affect your restaurant?
These are all considerations to be weighed before you select a celebrity spokesperson. Nonetheless, there seems to be significant potential in using this marketing strategy.