SBD/March 5, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Shiffrin, Kotsenburg Latest Athletes To Make Wheaties Box, But Do They Help Sell Cereal?

Gold Medal-winning U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin and U.S. snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg are "the newest Wheaties faces," but the question is whether "the world's greatest athletes [are] capable of selling" the cereal, according to Gasparro & Wallerson of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Wheaties was "once a king of the cereal aisle" but is "a laggard nowadays, ranking 17th among U.S. cereal brands." General Mills, which makes Wheaties, "declined to comment on market share," and also "declined to discuss the financial arrangements it strikes with athletes or the process by which it chooses who appears on boxes of Wheaties, known as 'the Breakfast of Champions.'" Wheaties, "unlike many of the athletes who have appeared on its box -- Lance Armstrong, for instance, or Pete Rose or Tiger Woods ... has never been the subject of scandal." Analysts say that the "flakes of dry wheat are widely perceived as boring." The first athlete to be featured on the box was Lou Gehrig in '34, and Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan "holds the record for most appearances at 18." The money that comes with a Wheaties appearance "may not mean much to well-paid stars." Tennis HOFer Chris Evert said the money "certainly didn't stand out." But it "can mean a lot to Olympians who often live hand-to-mouth." Octagon Managing Dir of Olympic & Action Sports Peter Carlisle said, "The Wheaties box is iconic and very valuable for an athlete" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/5).

WHEATIES COVER ATHLETES BY SPORT
SPORT
ATHLETES
SPORT
ATHLETES
Baseball
161
Winter Olympics
15
Football
130
Auto racing
14
Basketball
48
Tennis
10
Summer Olympics
31
Soccer
8
Hockey
20
Wrestling, marathon, boxing
Tied at 4
Golf
19
 
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