Gillette understand that, while an association with such a talent can leave you open to crisis, they also realise that in a crisis, love for him in some quarters won’t diminish. Like Marmite, or Cristiano Ronaldo, brands will queue to associate themselves with him, on the basis that, love him or hate him, you just can’t ignore Thierry Henry.
We should also remember that it is this provocation and interest which makes personalities like Henry worth associating with in the first place. Not just for their talent or skills on a pitch, but the global interest in their lives and performances.
Let’s not forget that about ten years ago David Beckham was once that most hated man in England for getting sent off in the World Cup. Today, he is loved by more than those who deride him and is still coveted by brands.
Brands surely realise that as part of any successful association with a ‘talent’ that they need to take the rough with the smooth.
David Atkinson is a Managing Partner at Space