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Why one Tesla rival hired a problematic celebrity to help design its cars

Celebrity endorsements usually prove to be an effective promotional tool, as they can be key to the general public resonating with a particular brand.

Ads featuring Academy-award winning actor Matthew McConaughey for Lincoln, NBA star Blake Griffin for Kia and Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams for Audi are just some of the unforgettable partnerships of recent memory, but in today’s social media centric-world, promotion goes beyond what a 30-second television or skippable YouTube ad can offer.

Having a celebrity pose with a car in a photo seen throughout social media can be just as effective; that is, if you have the right person for the job. 

One Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report rival seems to have the right idea.

A post on X, formerly known as Twitter, by Chinese Tesla rival Faraday Future  (FFIE) – Get Free Report shows its co-founder YT Jia with Grammy Award-winning musician Chris Brown, naming the troubled singer as a “Developer Co-Creation Officer” and the new owner of a FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance.

“We are excited to welcome global music star Chris Brown as another influential FF Spire User and Developer Co-Creation Officer for FF,” said Jia in a subsequent statement. “This Co-Creation collaboration not only reflects the acknowledgment of FF and its products by prominent icons, but also underscores the value and advantages of FF and its Developer Co-Creation model within the entertainment and music business.”

Why did Faraday Future get Chris Brown?

Chris Brown performs at The O2 Arena on Feb. 15 in London. (Photo by Burak Cingi/Redferns)

Burak Cingi/Getty Images

On the surface, it is easy to see why a name like Chris Brown would be valuable for a company like Faraday Future. The R&B and pop singer has been a mainstay on the charts since his 2005 debut, with multiple Billboard top ten songs such as “Run It!,” “Turn Up The Music” and “Kiss Kiss” with T-Pain, to name a few. 

But besides his venture with the EV manufacturer, Chris Brown, or “Chris Breezy,” to his fan base, is also notable outside of music for his legal troubles, which include numerous accounts of violence against women.

In 2009, Brown was named as the perpetrator in a domestic violence incident against Barbadian pop singer and entrepreneur Rihanna, of which he pled guilty and was sentenced to community labor, five years of probation and domestic violence counseling after accepting a plea deal.

In 2016, a woman made a 911 call accusing Brown of threatening her with a firearm inside his Los Angeles home. After a standoff with the LAPD, the “Go Crazy” singer was arrested and released on $250,000 bail. The charges were later dropped after prosecutors decided not to arraign Brown on felony charges, and the singer sued the accuser for defamation.

In 2022, another woman filed a $20 million civil suit against Brown, accusing him of raping her on a yacht in Miami in December 2020. The Faraday Future Developer Co-Creation Officer denied said allegations, and plans to countersue after the case was dropped in August 2022.

More Business of EVs:

The move to pull in Brown comes after Faraday Future has been experiencing its own financial and organizational woes, including the ousting of its CEO in November 2022.

The company once touted as the “next Tesla” has been unclear about the deliveries of its flagship FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance when it was revealed in June 2023. However, recent posts on social media show that Faraday have delivered cars to select customers.

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https://www.thestreet.com/electric-vehicles/why-one-tesla-rival-hired Why one Tesla rival hired a problematic celebrity to help design its cars

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