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GOING FOR POST-OLYMPIC GOLD: NO ONE STAR BREAKS THROUGH
Published August 7, 1996
"No single endorsement superstar from the Games has sent consumers and marketers into a tizzy," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. Seven sports marketing "specialists" surveyed by USA TODAY gave their assessment on which U.S. athletes stand the best chance of cashing in on Olympic glory. GOLD: Michael Johnson (to be remembered for "infectious post- victory smile"). SILVER: Kerri Strug ("Time will tell whether Strug's a blip ... or if she's got staying power"). BRONZE: Dan O'Brien ("'World's Greatest Athlete' has a cachet all its own") (USA TODAY, 8/7). RUNNERS UP: Dot Richardson (As an M.D., could endorse "anything from Advil to Ben-Gay to Band-Aid"), Carl Lewis, Lisa Leslie, Amy Van Dyken. HONORABLE MENTION: Archer Justin Huish (Gen-X "poster boy"), Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Janet Evans ("sentimental favorites"), swimmers Tom Dolan and Gary Hall Jr. ("telegenic and talented ... [but] lost in the shuffle"), Dominique Moceanu ("Queen of Sydney"?), women's softball, basketball and soccer teams (exhibition tours), Muhammad Ali and Bela Karolyi ("likely to be paired with Strug in at least one ad campaign") (USA TODAY, 8/7). WHERE'S THIS YEAR'S CUT-OFF POINT? Advantage's Helen Broder: "One of the mistakes I think a lot of people make in talking to the athletes is saying 'You now have a gold medal. You're gonna be like Mary Lou Retton and you're gonna make millions and millions of dollars.' Well, it's true that some of the very top echelon can go into seven figures. As a whole, it's a select handful getting a high six figures and below that" ("CBS This Morning," 8/7).