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ENDORSEMENT PROFILE: SOME QUESTION IF ANYONE WILL CASH IN
Published February 24, 1998
No U.S. athletes in Nagano are "likely to enjoy anything close to the record" $5M in endorsements that Mary Lou Retton took home after the '84 Summer Games, according to USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz. Horovitz: "If consumers didn't watch the Nagano Games, why would they suddenly buy products hawked by medal winners?" While eight gold medal winners graced Wheaties boxes after the '96 Games, only the U.S. women's hockey team is featured this year. Wheaties spokesperson Pam Becker: "Customers felt we cheapened the equity by putting too many athletes on the box after the Summer Olympics." Gold Medal Management's Brad Hunt, who represents Picabo Street, said it could be 90 days before she signs her next deal: "You can't make a status report one day after the closing ceremonies." D&F's Allen Furst said that his group is negotiating with "several Japanese firms" for his client, Nicole Bobek (USA TODAY, 2/24). LOOKING AHEAD: The IOC has formed an internal committee called the Millennium Olympics Group "to plan out Millennium-themed marketing activities that would culminate" at the 2000 Syndey Games (AD AGE, 2/24). USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz wrote that advertisers "already are gearing up" for Sydney as marketing teams from GM, Coca-Cola and McDonald's are set to meet to "plot strategy" (USA TODAY, 2/23). AD REVIEWS: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott reviews ads around the Games, writing on the "poor performance" of Madison Ave. with "dreadfully dull commercials" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/24).