As was featured tonight on CBS’ The Insider, Ronn Torossian on Olympic marketing:
From Bruce Jenner to Mary Lou Retton, Carl Lewis to Mark Spitz, there are American Olympic stars who have cashed in from the Olympics – although it certainly remains hard to outshine the major sports to succeed in America. To be a true break-out star, it’s necessary to shine during your sport, but also to shine with an interesting, relatable back story.
Timing matters tremendously – anyone hoping to cash in on the Olympics needs to move very quickly or they simply will disappear. Quick – how many swimmers, gymnasts or track and field athletes can you name? Not an easy task to make money from marketing as an Olympian.
Some reflections on the big winners in terms of Olympic marketing:
Michael Phelps is a winner but to be a mega marketing superstar, he has to be more trustworthy. He will shine as expected, and undoubtedly make millions. However, there may be some brands with lingering concerns about his party-boy perception – which wasn’t helped as he was seen leaving a club with an aspiring model the day after the Olympics. He could be seen by some as arrogant – and would it really surprise anyone if he had a scandal in 2012?
Undoubtedly Gabby Douglas was a huge winner in terms of brand at the Olympics. With Kellogg’s Corn Flakes & Procter & Gamble lined up, undoubtedly there’s more to come for her in terms of deals. She got great buzz, and has an interesting family story which can score her points with potential endorsement deals. A cute smile and she’s very young. She will make millions of dollars before her next worldwide major stage in Rio in 2016,
Lolo Jones has marketing potential amongst the “family-friendly” brand world. She’s beautiful, religious and likeable. Clearly she understands marketing as she’s already been profiled by Rolling Stone & NBC Nightly News.
Ryan Lotke will earn – but he’s still second fiddle to Phelps, although many will root for him to succeed further.
I welcome your thoughts and feedback.