Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has a number of various endorsements. But one which has taken center stage in a very public way is with popular television streaming/entertainment company Hulu. And their approach to endorsement deals with professional athletes is unique and attention-grabbing.
Essentially, the Hulu model of promotion is working exactly as planned thus far, and Lillard is one of the athletes to hop on board with the company.
The popular service wants athletes to make it fully understood that they’re being paid to endorse the company, which is the way it should be. As seen above, Lillard points out that Hulu offers live sports while using the hashtags “#hulusellout #huluhaslivesports #ad #sponsoredpost.”
Damian Lillard’s Hulu Tattoo & Company Comments on Promotion
After Lillard’s deal with Hulu came to light, the Blazers star posted a video on social media while he was getting a “Hulu Has Live Sports” tattoo on his arm. It was also a commercial which is run often throughout the NBA playoffs and at various other times on major networks.
There’s some speculation as to whether Lillard actually got the tattoo or not, but regardless, the concept behind the commercial deserves a tip of the cap. It was well-received by other players as well, considering Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo even reached out to Dame about Hulu.
While the approach Hulu has taken to promoting their product is unique, Nat Ives of The Wall Street Journal spoke with Kelly Campbell, the chief marketing officer of the company about it.
“Influencer marketing has taken on a life of its own,” said Kelly Campbell, chief marketing officer at Hulu. “Yet at the same time we know athletes are getting paid a lot of money to endorse products.”
Ives also spoke with Ryan Crosby, the vice president for content marketing at Hulu, who adds an interesting point about the use of social media promotions.
“Everyone is looking at what’s happening in social promotions,” said Ryan Crosby, vice president for content marketing at Hulu. “You’re not fooling anyone when you do these ads.”
How Much Is Damian Lillard’s Hulu Contract Worth?
The million-dollar question becomes just how much money Hulu is paying Lillard and other athletes such as Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, but it remains a mystery. Not surprisingly, the terms of the deal have not been revealed. This includes both the value and length of the endorsement Lillard has with the company, as Tom Bassam of Sports Pro Media reported.
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But as Bassam pointed out in February, Hulu is owned by Comcast (30 percent), Walt Disney (30 percent), 21st Century Fox (30 percent) and AT&T WarnerMedia (10 percent). There were talks that the ownership could shift a bit, but regardless, the company has had major success.
Sports Pro Media revealed impressive growth from Hulu in early 2018, with their advertising revenue rising “more than 45 percent” and advertiser base increasing by 50 percent. In turn, it’s likely the endorsement for Lillard is worth more than a decent amount.
Among the multiple other endorsements, the renegotiated one Lillard has with Adidas (in 2014), revealed by former USA Today analyst Sam Amick, was called “among the most lucrative of any player in the NBA. Amick reported that, at the time, the deal was smaller than only Derrick Rose’s $185 million, 13-year contract with Adidas and LeBron James’ $20 million annual deal with Nike.