In 1996, Donald Trump acquired the Miss Universe Organization. At that time, the acquisition seemed to make a lot of sense.
The Miss Universe pageant was being seen as outdated and cheesy and Mr. Trump’s expertise in branding – after all, he has made his name in turning around real estate properties – was seen as something that would revive the pageant. “Trump puts his hand in things that are very profitable and glamorous”, said one pageant expert at that time.
Despite its dwindling audiences in developed countries, Miss Universe was still very popular in Latin America and Asia. Though already known in the United States at that time, Mr. Trump was relatively unrecognizable in the rest of the world. The pageant was supposed to endear Mr. Trump to the countries he planned to expand his businesses in.
The partnership seemed to go in the right direction. The already popular…
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