SA celebs love endorsing alcohol brands. Picture: Instagram

In the cut-throat world of entertainment, building and maintaining your brand is vital.
Alcohol, specifically spirits, is used as a status symbol or for celebration in music videos and sports events - add a famous face and its credibility is almost guaranteed to go up a notch.

Over the years, there’s been a surge of celebrities attaching their names to some of the popular and loved brands. Rappers, television personalities, sports stars and even fashion designers have gone from popping bottles to putting their names on them.


In 2017, radio host Thando Thabethe was named the vodka’s new ambassador, joining recording artist Cassper Nyovest.

Celebrities and alcohol have long enjoyed a mutually useful relationship with brands benefiting from a much-needed sprinkle of star dust and celebrities a dose of well-placed exposure. Pictures: Instagram 

GH Mumm

In January, the luxury champagne brand announced retired Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt as its CEO - chief entertainment officer. Hosting the Sun Met alongside Bolt, was local beauty and TV personality Minnie Dlamini as master of celebrations.

Russian Bear 
In 2016, the vodka brand collaborated with rapper Ricky Rick for a limited edition Ricky Rick X Russian Bear.
The red bottle was decked out with lyrics and a picture of the rapper’s face below the logo.


Fashion designer David Tlale and TV star Bonang Matheba joined radio personality Tbo Touch as the ambassadors of the French cognac brand.

While some celebs have simply formed partnerships with alcohol brands, others have gone all the way and produced their own wines, giving fans a taste of the celeb life.

In 2014, TV personality-turned-winemaker Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp launched her own brand, ElanaWines. Becoming a winemaker had been her lifelong dream and in 2014 that dream became a reality.

Former world number one golfer Ernie Els has been in the business for many years and was one of the first stars to venture into winemaking.

In 2010, swimmer Ryk Neethling launched his range, by Val de Vie Estate in Paarl.

Pernod Ricard brand education manager Mark Backhouse, said: “The concept that well-known personalities boost sales started when advertisers understood that we don’t sell things, but instead we sell a lifestyle. A well-known personality amplifies the brand’s message and reaches a broader audience, especially in the early stages or when an established brand is reaching into new geographic territories.”

Backhouse said when it came to choosing an ambassador, there was a different approach locally versus internationally.

“When we speak about an international celebrity ambassador such as Usain Bolt versus our local celebrity Hussain van Roos, (Martell Cognac) the approach is very different.

“Usain Bolt was selected by (GH) Mumm based on the value proposition between Usain Bolt the brand and Mumm Champagne the brand.”

Backhouse also explained the role influencers have.

“Hussain van Roos is a successful lifestyle ambassador and well known in and around Johannesburg. He has substantial social media influence and when aligning Hussain to Martell Cognac, we made sure he personified the brand.”

Backhouse said the influencer’s role was to connect celebrities and other influencers with the authentic stories and quality of the brand in real and virtual occasions.

Local celebrities have been quick to follow their international counterparts in realising the value of attaching their names to premium brands and boosting their profiles.