SBD/November 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Hope Solo's Endorsement Deals Likely Undamaged By Recent Marriage Drama

Solo has had a deal with Seiko as well as Gatorade, Nike and Bank of America
U.S. women’s national soccer team G Hope Solo “likely didn't damage her existing endorsement deals with anything that transpired during the past week” around her marriage to former NFLer Jerramy Stevens, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. But branding and marketing specialists “agree her future earnings could be harmed if she continues to surface in news stories of an unflattering nature.” Team Epic VP Doug Hall said, "If there's a lot of smoke around a particular situation, most clients are risk-averse.” Hall added, “I don't think Gatorade's going to jump ship on her just yet. In terms of future endorsements, it could have an impact if it keeps happening." Solo has “enjoyed endorsement deals with Gatorade, Bank of America, Nike and Seiko.” Hall said, "With one instance, like this kerfuffle, if she's found to be a victim, it probably won't impact her earnings.” Florida-based sports and celebrity branding specialist Anthony Fernandez said that Solo “already harmed her image with ‘irrational’ and ‘erratic’ tweets she put out during the Olympics.” Fernandez added that the latest news will “reinforce the notion she has an ‘unpredictable nature’ and likely discourage new endorsements for the time being.” Fernandez said, “I honestly can't see her getting any more endorsements for the next year and a half.” N.Y.-based author and branding strategist Kate Newlin said that Solo's image will “probably emerge intact if the story dies here and no repeat allegations occur” (SEATTLE TIMES, 11/18). USATODAY.com reported Solo’s aunt Kathleen Shaw “disputes claims that the U.S. soccer star was fighting with her fiance on the day of their wedding.” Shaw said that Solo was “never hit in an altercation that brought police to an early-morning house party in Kirkland, Wash.” (USATODAY.com, 11/17).
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