Benedict XVI: From pope to inadvertent shoe endorser

Maybe it does pay to have God on your side—at least if you’re a cobbler.

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The modern celebrity endorsement took shape with the advent of television. TV stars such as Lucille Ball even hawked for Philip Morris. The practice has evolved into some pretty elaborate endorsement opportunities. Wheaties, for example, has featured hundreds of professional teams, athletes and Olympians on its boxes. Michael Jordan’s name is literally synonymous with Nike.

So Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down earlier this year, joins good company in essentially endorsing (by way of regularly wearing) handmade shoes made in Mexico’s shoe capital of León. A lengthy New York Times feature details how the pope’s endorsement has grown Armando Martín Dueñas’ Ackerman shoes.

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The Times notes how the shoes became a worldwide sensation:

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