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SBD/January 8, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship
Vonn's Decision Surprises Sponsors, But Should Not Have Large Impact On Marketing Plans
Published January 8, 2014
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NOT EXPECTED TO TRAVEL TO RUSSIA: Sponsors typically include injury clauses in their contracts with Olympians, but rather than exercising those clauses, sponsors often look for other ways for an athlete to fulfill her commitments through appearances or social media. Vonn is expected to have surgery before the Sochi Games and is not planning to travel to Russia. That means she will not be able to make appearances in Sochi for P&G or NBC. She could, however, attend P&G-related events in the U.S. or do satellite TV appearances from home or NBC studios.
COULD THIS IMPACT FUTURE EARNINGS? The effect of Vonn’s injury on her long-term earning potential will be determined by whether or not she returns for the ‘18 Pyeongchang Games. Success there would boost her opportunities for endorsements and appearances after she retires, said Olympic agent Evan Morgenstein, founder of PMG Sports. He added, “She’s got huge name recognition. But the way to truly cross over as an Olympic athlete is to have your last Olympic experience be your greatest moment. If you come back from injury and win in glorious fashion, people will remember you forever. You have to ride off into the sunset like Mark Spitz, Bruce Jenner, Mike Eruzione. It’s really important the last thing the public gets is your greatest moment. The jury is still out with her.” Vonn is represented by IMG VP/Action Sports Mark Ervin and Sue Dorf.