Nigerian companies are increasingly leveraging the entertainment industry to cast their goods and services in better light and this has opened up a N500 million market for music artistes, actors and sportsmen.
The fledgling brand ambassadors market, business day investigations indicate, may grow to over a billion naira at the end of the year, following expected new brand associations with players of the  Super Eagles, who won the African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
 A good number of Nigerian brands, especially in the telecommunications and banking sectors are now associating with creative  personages in music and acting, as well as sports to further their brand to targeted audiences. The trend which started a little over five years ago, has gained more relevance as a result of increasing exposure to television and major sporting events in the world. The popularity of the Nollywood industry is also giving fillip to brand ambassadorship.
Top celebrities in the Nigerian creative industry have in the last five years found this growing business a new way of making earnings. Acts like P-Square, D’Banj, Davido and Wizkid have variously been endorsed by companies as brand ambassadors.
A brand ambassador is a celebrity employed by a company to promote its products or services. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate image of the company in appearance, demeanor and ethics. At the most basic level, he has the sole responsibility to represent the company in positive light and express the message of the company in a way that consumers can gain further understanding of the company. It is quite different from modeling which has been at the root of advertising. However; a celebrity who promotes the services of a company and is not paid for doing so is referred to as brand advocate.
It all began when companies like the telecommunication giant, Globacom started appointing well-known names in the music industry and Nollywood as its brand ambassadors. In this write-up Dorin Ugonna, she highlighted some of the top musicians who are presently enjoying the fruit of their labour through ambassadorship.
Wizkid and Tiwa Savage (Pepsi&MTN)

Wizkid and Tiwa Savage are two major acts that have been on top of their game for several years with so many hit songs to show for it. So, when the duo were confirmed as the new Pepsi ambassadors, it was definitely not surprising as they both represent a positive brand. It will also interest you to know that Wizkid and Tiwa were whisked off to an exotic location to film the TV commercials and print ads for the campaign. The “Blue, Bold & Beautiful” Pepsi ambassadors were unveiled at an exclusive event which took place at Likwid in Lagos. We scooped the contract involved a huge amount of money which is helping them in shaping their musical career. As if that was not enough for the duo, few weeks ago, Tiwa Savage and Wizkid also penned a new deal, reportedly worth close to N25m with MTN.
Don Jazzy And D’prince (Loya & MTN)
Loya milk, from the stable of Promasidor Nigeria limited officially unveiled Don Jazzy as its new brand ambassador at a breathtaking event which took place in Lagos. Don Jazzy, who was palpably excited about the appointment eulogized Loya milk for the honour and pledged to play his new role creditably. At the moment, Don Jazzy also doubles as MTN ambassador. The telecoms giant has now added the Pop producer, Don Jazzy and younger brother, D’Prince to the list of brand ambassadors for the company.

Saka Port From Etisalat To MTN
Hafeez Oyetoro a.k.a Saka’s deal can be tagged as the most controversial among all the deals that has been taking place in the Nigerian Entertainment industry as the talented comic actor ported from one  telecommunication to another which some of his loyal fans were not too comfortable with. Truly, he shocked most of the subscribers of Etisalat when he dumped the company and pitched his tent with rival telecoms giant MTN; and a new MTN ad campaign proves this fact. ‘I don port o, I don port go MTN. I don upgrade to MTN‘, Saka sings and dances. Music Excellence gathered that the comic actor was paid a whooping  N20m for this new deal.

Davido, KCEE and Iyanya
Joseph Benjamin (MTN)
MTN‘s quest to sign almost every relevant artiste out there isn’t over as they now have Davido, Iyanya and other notable singers on their platform. Other MTN ambassadors include Project Fame alumni Praiz, Olawale, Mike Anyaso and Chidinma. MTN recently signed K-CEE. The “Limpopo” master took to his instagram page to announce his big news.
Banky W And Sasha P (Samsung)
Nigerian rapper cum fashion designer Yetunde Alabi better known as Sasha P though has been dropped from the platform while Banky W is still enjoying the big box offer of the GSM company. Samsung has already launched a promo campaign for an upcoming product ‘Samsung Galaxy Grand‘ with Banky as the face. But Banky’s team did not immediately respond to our enquiries.

Olamide (Guinness Nigeria)
Guess who is smiling to the bank! Rapper Olamide, Wizkid and Davido have just been signed as the brand ambassadors for Guinness Nigeria; we do not know the exact figures but the deal is worth millions of naira. The excited artistes took their Instagram pages some days ago to share the good news. Popular rapper, Olamide has just penned a new deal with DOBOX. The detail of the agreement hasn’t been made public but the rapper went on his instagram page to announce the news by also posting a picture of himself and Dobox Gafar Williams. This adds up to his already piled up deals including Ciros Endorsement, Star NG. Dobox is an Entertainment On-Demand (EOD) Portal which features Nollywood movies/series and Nigerian music.

P-Square, Basket Mouth And Burna Boy (Glo)
They are the most highly prized in the music industry and this explains why they don’t get as many shows as their counterparts. P-Square and D’Banj were the highest paid in 2012 with P-Square signing a four-year deal claimed to be N240million. Other Glo ambassadors include Basket Mouth, Burna Boy, Ego of the Lagbaja fame among others got between N10 and N50million. In addition to P-Square, D’Banj is another artiste who is highly favoured by brands. Reports say he is the top of the Glo brand ambassadors list, earning as much as P-Square.
2face (AIRTEL)
2face also signed a deal with Guinness, worth several millions of Naira some years ago. Today, he is the new face of Airtel, a deal valued at several millions too.
Darey-Art Alade, Dan Foster and Toke Makinwa’s Endorsement (Unilever Nigeria)
Endorsement season isn’t over as far as the Nigerian music industry is concerned. Unilever Nigeria, makers of popular beverage drink, Lipton has signed four Nigerian celebrities as ambassadors; musician Darey Art Alade, air personalities-Inspiration  92.3 FM’s Dan Foster and  Rhythm 93.7FM Toke Makinwa. The celebrity quartet already had a promo photoshoot for the set of campaigns.