Employing the services of famous actors, athletes, or personalities to endorse the cigar is something very unique, because it is unheard of for high-profile individuals to market other tobacco products like cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Cigar Aficionado was the perfect venue for celebrity endorsements of all sorts to materialize, and throughout the 1990s, plenty of big names were subjects of many different stories in the magazine.
The likenesses of Jack Nicholson, Tom Selleck, James Woods, Denzel Washington, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all graced the covers of Cigar Aficionado issues between 1995 and 1998. The services of tough, aggressive, domineering personalities worked wonders for the image of the cigar, propagating the idea that the cigar symbolizes power and masculinity. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Summer ’96 Cigar Aficionado cover story is what really epitomizes the association of cigars and big-time Hollywood tough guys.
Sportsmen too were wrapped up in 1990s cigar promotion, but they added a new dimension. Athletes, more so than any other group of people, fashioned an association between celebrations and cigars. Oftentimes, athletes were pictured with cigars following championship wins, thus, the cigar grew to symbolize success.
So, by gathering a range of well-known personalities, renowned for both on-screen and on-field performances, Cigar Aficionado made the cigar out to carry meanings of power, masculinity, and success.