Financial services brand XTrade has been making headlines with its announcement that it’s signed up world-famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo as its official ambassador in a unique a financial services sponsorship deal
While we’re used to seeing financial services brands aligning themselves with sporting events, this is a relatively new development.
Founded in 2002, XTB is a European brokerage house offering trading in financial derivatives and is established in more than 15 countries in Europe, South America and Asia.
And Cristiano Ronaldo needs no introduction, maybe just a heads up that he’s one of the most widely recognised sportsman in the world and has 200 million social media followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Yes, 200 million.
XTrade’s Head of Operations Mark Leigh says of the strategic partnership: ‘This partnership signifies an opportunity to support one of the world’s most exciting talents while promoting our market-leading and innovative online CFD trading products globally, increasing our international presence.’
Cristiano Ronaldo said: ‘To be the best, you need the best. That is why I have chosen to partner with XTrade, one of the world’s leading digital trading platforms. And there is no easy way to become the world’s best. The only way is through perseverance, practice, and more practice – until perfection.’
The business reportedly hopes to promote XTrade’s brand and expand its reach in the football industry.
Of course, there are several obvious and well-worn routes to leverage Ronaldo’s fame: the football star already features on a number of online marketing materials - it’s currently offering up to $10,000 match bonus; 100% bonus on your first deposit with XTrade.
There is no doubt more campaigns to come as well as various real world opportunities for XTrade to bring the magic of his celebrity to its clients.
The challenge however would seemingly be how to leverage Cristiano Ronaldo’s global fame in a more engaging way than just brand alignment.
Any spin through Ronaldo’s social media lets you see his existing endorsements which align nicely with his presence as a sportsman / well-groomed individual / cool guy – this of course becomes more complicated for a financial services brand which doesn’t produce a product that can actually be photographed and has a more complex message to get across.
Of course, awareness is an important strategy for any brand and that may just be enough, but in today’s more complex, messy and messaging-overloaded world in which we live, how does XTrade engage users beyond that quick peak of interest generated by a Google search to find out what XTrade actually do?
This is going to be an interesting campaign to see develop.