SBD/Issue 241/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Canadian Gold Medalists Wait To Cash In After Vancouver Success

Gold Medalist Ricker Has Some Smaller
Deals, But Major Endorsements Lacking

It has been a "mostly barren landscape in terms of endorsement deals" for the majority of Canadians who won Gold Medals at the Vancouver Games, according to Gary Kingston of the VANCOUVER SUN. Slider Jon Montgomery was found “chugging from a pitcher of beer” after his win, and agent Russell Reimer said he has had some "great discussions with beer companies.” But Reimer noted, “You can’t use a celebrity to endorse beer in Canada. It's not permitted under our liquor laws. ... We could have had him signed within a week after the Games, it was such a natural fit.” Kingston reported while there have been “some suggestions that athletes and corporations missed the boat by not immediately capitalizing on the awareness and patriotism that followed Canada’s 14 gold medals at Vancouver/Whistler, others say it’s just the reality of a slow-to-rebound economy and the Canadian marketplace.” Gold Medal-winning snowboarder Maelle Ricker: “I guess you sort of get caught up in what everybody is saying, people saying you’re going to make a million bucks. It’s completely not true.” K-Mac & Associates President Keith McIntyre said one big reason for the lack of deals is that companies "don’t like to negotiate when there’s a lot of euphoria and they’re dealing with (athletes) who are at their highest peak value.” Skier Ashleigh McIvor said that “she hasn’t spent a lot of time thinking about cashing in on her gold medal.” McIvor: “It’s not a big thing for me. I had a lot of great sponsors supporting me going into the season (Cold FX, Bell, iSign Media, Oakley) and I was just happy I hadn’t let them down.” Kingston noted McIvor did receive around C$50,000 "in gold medal bonuses from those companies." The athletes said that the most “immediate post-Olympic benefit, beyond the Canadian Olympic Committee’s $20,000 bonus for a gold medal, came in the form of corporate speaking engagements, with athletes commanding $7,500 to $15,000.” Montgomery has “done close to two dozen," while Ricker and McIvor have each done about eight to 10 (VANCOUVER SUN, 8/28).

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