Applied Business Project on Brand Ambassadors, from the MBA in Hospitality

Students of the MBA in International Hospitality and Service Industries Management conducted an Applied Business Project on the topic of “Brand Ambassadors: The Profile of an Ex-World Champion in Formula 1” and here’s the executive summary.


Brand ambassadors – prominent individuals who endorse the products or services of a company – are common in many industries. Yet a match between the profile of an ambassador and the image of a company is crucial for the co-operation to flourish. This commissioned case study research was designed and carried out by a group of Glion MBA students to identify potential brands that an ex-world champion in Formula 1 could commend as a brand ambassador.

In a mixed-method study, the students conducted a survey among Formula 1 enthusiasts to explore the perceived personality of the subject, interviewed representatives of the subject’s current corporate partners to understand his business appeal and finally analyzed brand endorsements of famous retired athletes to develop a benchmark for comparison. The results included a synthesis of the subject’s popular image expressed as four movies that reflect his perceived profile and a list of suggested companies that fit the synthesis and could be potential candidates for partnerships. Several of these suggestions were, as expected, linked with the world of motor racing.

Two findings were particularly noteworthy for the hospitality industry: the number of ex-athletes as endorsers of luxury businesses, and the proposed fit of the subject as an endorser for a major airline and an international hotel chain. The increasing emphasis on luxury within the industry highlights the opportunities embedded in the first finding. The results also suggest that hotels and other hospitality providers could profit from adopting brand ambassadors, provided that the individual is carefully selected to match the company profile.

Authors of the study: Brake, José; Alexander, Natalia; Wiet, Alice; Veerapong, Chavanon
MBA from Glion Institute of Higher Education

Executive summary editors / research supervisors: Henri Kuokkanen, Research Fellow; Anu Laukkala, Lecturer Glion Institute of Higher Education

Learn more about the MBA in Hospitality.

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