The Strategy Behind Rolex's Ambassadorship: How They Choose Their Representatives

by Marc-Andre Schmid

Rolex, one of the world's most iconic luxury watch brands, has a rich history of collaborating with prominent figures from various fields as brand ambassadors. These partnerships have played a significant role in shaping the brand's identity and positioning it as a symbol of prestige, success and achievement.

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Rolex's first brand ambassadors was Mercedes Gleitze, a pioneering British swimmer who, in 1927, became the first woman to swim the English Channel. Gleitze was selected by Rolex to wear and promote the brand's new waterproof watch, the Rolex Oyster. This partnership marked a significant turning point in the history of watch advertising and helped to establish the Oyster as one of the most durable and reliable watches on the market.

Mercedes-Gleitze-Rolex-Brand-Ambassador-Advertisment-Zurichberg

Gleitze's association with Rolex also helped to position the brand as a watch for adventurers and explorers, a theme that would become a hallmark of Rolex's marketing campaigns. Her image, wearing the Oyster watch while swimming in the frigid waters of the English Channel, was featured in Rolex advertisements and helped to promote the brand's durability, accuracy and reliability.

Malcolm-Campbell-300-MPH-Speed-Record-Rolex-Oyster-1935-Zurichberg

Since Gleitze, Rolex has collaborated with a wide range of individuals, including athletes, actors, musicians, and artists, to promote its watches. These partnerships have helped to reinforce Rolex's association with success, achievement and innovation, and have contributed to the brand's reputation as one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world.

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Rolex's current roster of brand ambassadors includes several high-profile figures, including tennis player Roger Federer, racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart, golfer Tiger Woods and explorer Bertrand Piccard. Some like the actor Paul Newman even had such a big impact on the brand and the watch community as a whole that watch models became synonymous with their persona, resulting in the Rolex Daytona Chronograph becoming known as the "Paul Newman" Daytona. These partnerships have helped to promote the brand's core values of precision, durability, and quality, and have helped to reinforce its position as a watchmaker that is synonymous with excellence and achievement.

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Over the years, Rolex's advertising campaigns have evolved to reflect changing tastes and trends in the market. However, the brand's commitment to excellence and innovation has remained constant. By partnering with high-profile individuals who embody these values, Rolex has been able to stay relevant and maintain its status as one of the world's most iconic watch brands.


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