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KWAN YOU SAY MARKETING POTENTIAL? C'MON, YES YOU KWAN
Published February 19, 1998
While the Americans' "generally disappointing" skating performances in Nagano may have put a halt to the usual post-Olympics "gravy train," Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski are the "exception," according to Alexandra Peers of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Kwan has deals in the works, including a TV contract, "but some hinge on her taking the gold." Peers writes that while it looked as if skater Michael Weiss would be another "big winner in the endorsement race," with varying deals with AT&T, Coca-Cola, UPS and McDonald's, his seventh-place finish hasn't earned him "any more offers" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19). Kwan's agent Shep Goldberg speculated that Kwan could earn $15-$20M, over a five to ten year period after the Games (NEWSDAY, 2/19). Skating agent Michael Rosenberg said Kwan "should make somewhere between" $5-10 million dollars "whether she is amateur or professional." Rosenberg: "Tara Lipinski has tremendous potential. Nicole Bobek has tremendous potential. Tara because she is the phenomenon, and Nicole because she is the blond sexbomb" ("The Cutting Edge," TNT, 2/18). SPONSOR NOTES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL awarded TV advertising medals, giving Coca-Cola an "Individual Gold" for its "Ice Hockey" spot, while awarding IBM the "Team Theme Gold" for its "Look for Me" ad (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19)....USOC sponsor United Airlines is allowing any member of the U.S. delegation to stop over in Hawaii for as long as they want, then reboard for the mainland at no extra charge (USA TODAY, 2/19)....USA TODAY's Melanie Wells reports on first-time Olympic sponsor Amway's Nagano presence, as Amway "has stepped into the spotlight," and has gotten its "typically low-profile, direct sales company and its copious products noticed" through billboards, product placement, TV ads and a sponsorship tent (USA TODAY, 2/19)....As of yesterday, Molson had received 42,000 requests for wakeup calls for the Canadian men's hockey games (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19)....Paula Greenfield, who runs CA-based Celebrity Source, on Ross Rebagliati's endorsement potential: "I think if it was heroine or something, nobody would want to touch him. I think marijuana has a totally different stigma attached to it" (CP/EDM. JOURNAL, 2/19).