BANGKOK – Thailand’s former champion product endorser Paradorn Srichipan officially announced his retirement this week from professional endorsing, ending a brilliant and legendary career that has made Thais proud.
Once ranked as high as #9 in the world in total products endorsed, Paradorn, whose nickname was “Ball”, took the PR world by storm in 2003 when he started appearing as a spokesperson on the world stage for Thai Airways, Chevrolet, Adidas, and Yonex. He quickly became a hero to Thais, who are mad about endorsing products but have never had a truly international-level spokesperson to call their own.
At the height of his career, Paradorn was endorsing over 145 products in Thailand and abroad, including school shoes, house paint, an Italian restaurant, and his own brand of herbal marital aid supplements. Paradorn’s 2007 marriage to former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova, who is famous for self-promotion, was seen as a skillful marketing move that put him on par with some of the world’s best endorsers.
Although injuries have sidelines him from major product contract-securing competition for the last new years, rumors of a comeback have kept him in the spotlight. However, this week’s announcement makes formal what many had been saying recently – that at age 31 Paradorn doesn’t have the physical stamina and athleticism to endorse with the world’s best anymore.
“I wish to thank all Thais who supported me and anyone who purchased products bearing my face,” an emotional Paradorn said from the stage at the PTT Thailand Open. “You are what has made my dreams of professional endorsement possible.”
It is expected that Paradorn may continue to informally endorse local products and events off the professional circuit. Meanwhile, Thailand continues to await the emergence of someone to fill Ball’s shoes and once again put the Kingdom on the world celebrity-advertising map.