Oct 14, 2013

    Some of the worst culprits

    A number of American star athletes have endorsed food that aren't very healthy. My Paper takes a look at the food products some athletes have promoted.


    LeBron James, 28, National Basketball Association star for the Miami Heat, has endorsed a number of food products over the years.

    Sprite: In 2003, James signed a six-year multi-million-dollar marketing deal with Coca-Cola to be a key endorser of Sprite.

    He took over from another basketball star, Kobe Bryant, when Coca-Cola stopped running Sprite ads featuring the latter, who was charged with sexually assaulting a woman.

    McDonald's: James signed a multi-year endorsement deal with fast-food giant McDonald's in 2010.

    He isn't the first basketball star to endorse the Golden Arches. Basketball legend Michael Jordan once helped promote McDonald's alongside another player, Larry Bird, back in the 1990s.

    Bubblicious Gum: James reportedly received US$5 million (about S$6 million) to endorse Bubblicious Gum. One flavour was called LeBron's Lightning Lemonade.


    World No. 1 tennis player Serena Williams has the worst scores when it comes to endorsing unhealthy food.

    The 32-year- old has helped promote Oreos, Nabisco's 100 Calorie Pack Snacks, Got Milk? and Gatorade.

    Her sister and top-ranking tennis player, Venus Williams, has also endorsed food products such as Oreos and Nabisco's 100 Calorie Pack Snacks.


    Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant earned an estimated US$12 million a year from his three-year endorsement contract with McDonald's, which he signed in 2001.

    Italian chocolate-maker Ferrero also used Bryant to help advertise its hazelnut spread, Nutella. The company dropped Bryant in 2003 when he was involved in the sexual-assault lawsuit.