We know this famous sports person, make her fit our product line…

Here’s an example of why people are cynical about what PR professionals do.

Can someone please tell me how this incredibly tenuous linkage has been turned into a press release and video website campaign, and why any news media of any consequence will consider this newsworthy?

SOCCER STAR MIA HAMM AND GUARDIAN TEAM UP FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT SEASON

Olympic Gold Medalist Encourages Americans to Invest Time Reviewing Employee Benefits to Make the Right Choices for Themselves & Families

The best part are the quotes from Hamm and the company execs trying to explain what, if anything, Mia Hamm has to do with their employee benefits business:

"As a soccer player and soccer mom, I have a commitment to ensuring my family is financially protected, and a big part of this is making the right insurance choices. …" said Hamm.

Sort of like, "I’m not a benefits manager, but I play one on TV…"

Then the company executive helpfully tells us:

"Mia is a true humanitarian and uses her celebrity to help others. As a new mom she understands first-hand the importance of having the right insurance protection and as an Olympic champion she clearly understands the importance of preparation," said Elena Wu, 2nd Vice President of Guardian Group Marketing and Worksite Planning. "Guardian is honored to work with someone who is a trailblazer in her field. She dedicates her life to not only sports, but also health and service through charitable efforts such as the Mia Hamm Foundation which provides support for marrow and blood transplant patients and their families."

I have no quarrel with Mia Hamm’s world class achievements both on and off the soccer field, or her humanitarian instincts.

But there is absolutely nothing in her background that makes for a compelling connection between her and the insurance products being flogged.

How anyone who has taken PR 101 in the last three to five years thinks this kind of promotion will drive insurance sales in any measurable way is beyond me.

What do you think?

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