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SBD/August 7, 2012/Olympics
Has Lolo Jones Become A Star Because Of Athleticism Or Marketability?
Published August 7, 2012
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KEEPING UP WITH JONES: FOXSPORTS.com's Greg Couch writes it is true that Jones, who finished seventh in the ’08 Beijing Games, and her endorsers "have been a little too obvious about building an image." Public feelings mostly "are positive about her, but now there is an unmistakable anti-Jones undercurrent, a backlash from cities and athletes." Some people "have had enough of Jones, and the months of Jones buildup leading into the Olympics." Couch: "I do get that Jones is self-promoting all the time. What I don't get is why that bothers people. Sexism? Jealousy?" (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/7). The N.Y. Daily News' Frank Isola wrote on his Twitter account, "I don't get it, Lolo Jones is supposed to turn down endorsement deals because other track runners don't get any. Seriously? ... For one, Lolo is good enough to make the Olympic team. Secondly, she looks good. That usually equals endorsements" (TWITTER.com, 8/7). SPORTING NEWS' David Whitley wrote if Jones "wasn't H-O-T, she might as well be rowing for Burma." Among her "many skills is marketing, and she has preened her way to the top of the Olympic medal stand" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/6). In Melbourne, Michael Gleeson writes Jones is “very attractive and has thus been called the Anna Kournikova of athletics, for her profile until now has outstripped her achievements compared to her teammates.” Jones has “seven large sponsors,” compared to one for teammate Dawn Harper, the reigning Olympic champion (Melbourne AGE, 8/7). In St. Louis, Vahe Gregorian writes under the header "Lolo Jones' Toughest Hurdles Come In Image Control" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/7).