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Inside Eliud Kipchoge’s Multimillion Brand Ambassador Deals

Eliud Kipchoge has arguably shattered the glass ceiling of his athletics career.

Besides making history in 2019 as the only person to ever run a marathon in under two hours, the four-time olympian bosts of 10 world marathon major titles.

In 2018, he was ranked by Sportspro as the 31st most marketable athlete in the world.

He was also included in a VIP list featuring 50 remarkable personalities across the world, including Kylian Mbappe, Mohammed Salah, Naomi Osaka, and Tyson Fury, among others.

These achievements have made national and international corporates trip over each other, clamoring to tap into Kipchoge’s legacy to advance their marketing efforts.

In the process, Kipchoge has pocketed millions of dollars from brand ambassadorial deals.

In this article, WoK looks at corporate giants that have partnered with the iconic marathoner.

Nike

Nike’s latest running shoes contain a random date, time, and place printed on the right sole:

12:52.79. August 31, 2003. Paris, France.

A simple Google search sheds light on the mystery. August 31, 2003, was when Kipchoge won his debut 5,000-metre title at the Worlds Athletics Championships in Paris.

20 years later, Nike honored Kipchoge’s first win with an eight-item collection of custom-branded running shoes and apparel.

The limited edition shoes, which Nike launched on August 31st, include the Nike Alphafly 2, Vaporfly 3, Pegasus 40, and Air Zoom Victory, which cost at least sh 20 000 a pair.

The shoes contain Kipchoge’s initials, a quote from the marathoner printed on the left side of each insole, and his signature.

Nike has been Kipchoge’s official sponsor since 2017. The partnership has elevated the marathoner to the ranks of icons like Michael Jordan, whose brand ‘Air Jordan’ rakes over $130 million annually from Nike.

INEOS

The Name Eliod Kipchoge and INEOS have become synonymous, thanks to British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, who spent a whopping $ 19 million (sh 2 billion) into marketing Kipchoge’s historic 1:59 marathon challenge in 2019.

According to Business Today, INEOS – a multinational petrochemicals giant – spent at least sh 161 million on Kipchoge’s hotel accommodation in Vienna.

The company spent millions more on his coaches, doctors, marketing team, and pacesetters, not to mention the millions it paid him for winning the challenge. Kipchoge’s partnership with INEOS continues to date.

Tecno

Earlier this year, Kipchoge was unveiled as a brand ambassador for Tecno’s flagship model Phantom X2.

During the unveiling, Tecno’s Sub-Saharan Africa Creative Lead Boris Chang said they wanted the winning spirit of the famous athlete to reflect on the product.

While it was unclear how much Kipchoge made from the deal, he made a tidy sum considering Tecno’s generosity to its brand ambassadors.

Mozilla

In June this year, Kipchoge was signed by global tech giant Mozilla Corporation as their brand ambassador for the Mozilla Africa Mradi Programme.

The program was aimed at promoting a culture of reading among Kenyan youths through a browsing tool that allowed access to personalized learning materials for Kenyan learners.

Isuzu

In May this year, automotive manufacturing giant Isuzu unveiled its special edition of the ‘Eliud 1:59 Isuzu D-Max’ to honor the INEOS 1:59 challenge, where Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours.

Isuzu released only 159 vehicles of Kipchoge’s limited edition, with the marathoner driving home the first model of the double cabin pickup dubbed 001.

The vehicles feature the Kenyan flag on the grill and have black rims to symbolize the people of Kenya. Each of the pickups sold for sh 9 million.

Kipchoge’s five-year partnership with the firm has seen him pocket millions, according to Business Daily.

Huawei

In 2022, global tech giant Huawei partnered with Kipchoge in a campaign to motivate young people on their life journeys.

The campaign was aimed at promoting the key values of perseverance, dedication, and agility, which are important in achieving success.

Safaricom

In 2019, Safaricom changed its Mpesa logo for the first time in 12 years to honor Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59 marathon challenge.

The telecommunications giant also awarded free YouTube bundles to all its customers, who were able to livestream the historic race between 4 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The partnership saw Kipchoge, who had been Safaricom’s Twaweza brand ambassador since 2017, become Mpesa’s brand ambassador.

He now joins the ranks of the world’s elite athletes like Christiano Ronaldo, who have made a fortune out of brand endorsements and ambassadorial deals.