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SBD Global/August 6, 2012/Olympics

Britain's Jessica Ennis' Heptathlon Gold Medal Could Be Worth Millions

Britain's Jessica Ennis holds the Gold Medal she won in Heptathlon at the BT London Live concert in Hyde Park Sunday.
Analysts believe Jessica Ennis' Olympic heptathlon win "could turn her into a very rich woman," according to the London DAILY MAIL. Public Relations analyst Max Clifford thinks that Ennis "could net herself five million in the next two to three years along with any opportunities she desires" as a result of British athletes being "a breath of fresh air." Clifford: "With regard to Jessica, she could make around five million in the next two to three years if she chose to, from sponsorships and endorsements." Sport Business and Marketing Strategy Professor at Coventry University Business School Simon Chadwick said that he expected the 26-year-old's earnings to "double from around £1M ($1.56M) this year to £2M ($3.1M) the next." Chadwick: "It looks like her earnings last year were somewhere in the region of £600,000-700,000 ($938,000-1.09M). She already has a strong catalogue of endorsements such as Jaguar, Powerade, British Airways, Aviva and Olay" (DAILY MAIL, 8/5). METRO.co.uk reported that Ennis already "rakes in about £1M" from deals with Jaguar, Aviva, British Airways and Olay. Her Gold Medal will see her earnings "go through the roof as other companies clamour to sign her up" (METRO.co.uk, 8/5). THISISMONEY.co.uk's Simon Lambert noted that Olay ran "high-profile adverts" Sunday morning that said: "Congratulations Jessica! You did beautifully." Adidas is thought to be Ennis' most-valuable sponsor with a contract reported to be worth £320,000 ($500,544) annually (THISISMONEY.co.uk, 8/5).

GOLDEN DIFFERENCE: In London Jim White wrote that "Gold has different value across the Games." For Peter Wilson, winner of the double trap shooting competition, "it is unlikely to buy him much more than a few extra shells." In Bradley Wiggins' case "it will guarantee a knighthood for services to facial hair." But nobody can expect the "financial returns that lie in wait for Ennis." Almost every company in the U.K. "was anxious to have commercial association with the clean-limbed personification of our home games." From here things "can only get more lucrative." However, it may be argued this represents "the high water mark of her earning power." Being the face of the Games "is by no means a guaranteed passport to future wealth." The list of corporations lining up to join P&G, BP and adidas "in using her as the most attractive of facial endorsements will only grow" (TELEGRAPH, 8/5).

GIRL POWER: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported photographs of Ennis, down-to-earth and smiley and wrapped in the Union Jack flag "were plastered all over the newspapers." She was hailed as "Queen of the Games" and "Superwoman." Many of the U.K.'s successes in these Games have come from female athletes, and former BOA Chair Colin Moynihan agreed that "girl power" has been a feature of the first week. Moynihan said, "We really hope that is translated into far higher levels of participation by women at all levels of sport. We must carry forward the incredible example set by women in terms of performance here into the wider sporting world. We will be campaigning for that" (REUTERS, 8/5). MARKETING WEEK's Sebastian Joseph noted that British Airways, adidas and P&G had launched "tactical marketing campaigns" to show their support for Ennis before she won the Gold in the heptathlon event (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 8/3).
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