The avatar hero
Exploring the virtualisation of the Statham brand
in Crank it up
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It is no secret that videogames are no longer for children. Over 65% of American households play videogames, and the average age of a gamer is 35. Celebrity videogame endorsements offer an innovative way to infuse brands into the lives of their customers. In today’s celebrity-obsessed culture, a famous face can instantly make or break a product’s popularity. Celebrities are chosen with care. What do they bring to the product? How will it help increase their own brand? Does it work?

By examining videogames such as Red Faction II, Call of Duty and Sniper X, this chapter will explore how they work to reflect and expand both Statham’s fan base appeal (through his own website and fan-based ones) and the celebrity brand that is Jason Statham. By focusing on the militaristic and gaming aspects of Statham’s corpus of work, and the ways that this negotiates the machismo and masculinity that form a distinctive part of his brand identity, it will reveal how the idea of ‘celebrity’ has come to incorporate not just acting roles, but has become part of a transmedia world in which the ‘rules’ of cultdom, fandom, celebrity and stardom combine to produce one overall package: Jason Statham.

Crank it up

Jason Statham: star!

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