Barack Obama's New Zealand visit could rile Trump supportersby Patrick O'Meara
An announcement on a visit by the former US president is expected next week.
Air New Zealand and two other unnamed organisations are funding Mr Obama's trip to come and speak here, and an announcement is expected next week.
A senior lecturer at the marketing department at Auckland University, Mike Lee, said he expected there to be a lot of interest, both here and overseas.
"Obama is almost universally popular outside of America. And at least half of Americans find him still a very approachable, trustworthy, (with a) cool sort of persona."
Air New Zealand has been heavily involved in Mr Obama's visit.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Key, who is on the national carrier's board, is likely to have been influential in convincing Mr Obama to come here because of their friendship when the two were leaders.
But he will not come cheap, his speaking fees in the US are reportedly about $400,000 a time.
Brand consultant and former Saatchi New Zealand executive Kate Smith said Mr Obama was worth it for the firms' involved.
"If you look at Twitter for example, Barack Obama has almost twice as many Twitter followers as Trump does, even though he tweets a lot less than Trump."
"If Obama comes here and [tweets] about New Zealand, he's reaching 100 million people."
Ms Smith said it would be even more interesting if his wife Michelle Obama came along, as she was influential in her own right.
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