NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal is parlaying his success on Facebook and Twitter to peddle Enlyten’s line of diet strips through his Facebook Page. He originally began his sponsorship of the products in March with an announcement on Twitter, and is now using the buzz around his name to push the series of dissolvable strips to his 800,000 Facebook fans.
Shaq is no stranger to product endorsement, from brands like Icy Hot to Comcast, but his association with Enlyten has been almost exclusively driven through social media channels. The initial announcement of his sponsorship came after Shaq released picture of a promotional photo event through his Twitter account. What makes this a little different from Shaq’s other endorsement deals is that he’s not really promoting a particular product, but instead is recruiting people to join the Enlyten distributor network – without going through the process, it’s hard to tell if it’s a standard or multi-level affiliate program.
The Enlyten products are a series of dissolvable strips, with names like Calorie Burner, Electrolyte, Appetite Suppresant and Melatonin. Strips are sold exclusively through independent distributors, and the company is constantly recruiting more sellers. Similar in some ways to AmWay or Mary Kay, this business model is potentially very “social” its nature, so gravitating to social networking sites like Facebook seems like a natural fit. And since Shaq is a master of self-promotion, he’s a great match as well.
Promotion of the Enlyten strips on Shaq’s page has been subtle and well done. He’s worked references and links to the strips into his updates about working out and returning to game shape for the upcoming season following a renewed commitment to fitness after his trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many of his recent updates have revolved around diet and his workout routine, and Enlyten strips have been featured prominantly, especially recently – a Las Vegas launch party for new affiliates is scheduled for August 1.
The case raises interesting questions for the future of celebrity endorsements on Facebook. Will Facebook ever limit the way prominent figures can promote products they endorse through the Facebook stream?