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Fame and Fortune A campaign starring a celebrity spokesperson could be the ticket to off-the-chart marketing success.

By Kim T. Gordon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You wouldn't guess by looking at me that I have somethingmajor in common with Sammy Sosa and Pete Sampras-but we've allbeen endorsers or celebrity spokespeople for Nortel Networks. WhileI've never been able to hit a baseball or serve an ace, as asmall-business expert and author, I can drive home key messagesthat resonate with business owners, a skill Nortel Networks has putto good use.

Typically, star athletes command endorsement fees in themillions, but other spokespeople, such as authors and industryexperts, have considerably less stratospheric rates. So while yourbudget probably doesn't include a national ad campaignfeaturing a superstar, there are excellent, lower-cost ways yourgrowing business can increase its visibility using a celebrity orexpert spokesperson.

Creating a marketing program using an outside endorser drawsattention to your message and confers credibility. It's what Icall the "made you look" factor. Your choice of aspokesperson should be based on your message and target audience.And there's a wide range of academics, authors, athletes,actors, association leaders and experts available for your events,retail promotions and public relations tours.

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