Having expanded exponentially over the past ten years, influencer marketing reached a market value of $16.4 billion in 2022, up from $1.7 billion in 2016. Research has found that celebrity and athlete endorsements in particular increase trust and can lead to a 20-40% growth.

The modern marketing tactic has become a successful and proven way for brands to connect with their audiences authentically as young athletes, up-and-coming pop stars, and high-profile influencers become the faces of major international brands across all industries.

One recent endorsement that has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons is Adidas and Kanye West’s partnership, which ended after the rapper made a slew of antisemitic comments. Reportedly, the German sportswear brand then went on to lose $1.3 billion in sales after cutting ties with West – proof that cutting long-term ties can negatively impact a brand's income.

Of course, Adidas saw no other option than to draw its partnership with the rapper to a close and take the short-term monetary hit due to its ethics as a brand. But rather than having to recover from such toil, how can brands avoid partnering with influencers and celebrities that could be detrimental to their reputation in the first place?

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