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SBD Global/August 21, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

London 2012 Stars Are Fashion's 'Latest Darlings'

Their Olympic glory may now be over, "but the stars of London 2012 are enjoying a new spotlight as fashion's latest darlings," according to Lauren Cochrane of the London GUARDIAN. Images of Michael Phelps in the latest ad campaign for Louis Vuitton's core values show the Olympian "sporting a three-piece suit and sharing a cup of tea with the previous greatest Olympian of all time, Ukrainian gymnast Larisa Latynina." In the aftermath of the Games, fashion and sport alliances "look likely to continue in this vein." The commercial potential for a fashion brand working with these "new Olympic stars" is being revealed. Editor Carrie Tyler said, "If a brand signed up its ambassadors early and are busy releasing campaign images now they will reap the rewards. Even those with no previous interest in sport are captivated by these Olympians." While most models are not recognized by consumers, "these famous faces provide immediate association." Unlike a celebrity, Olympians are heroes, "held in awe for their exceptional abilities." Marketing Week Editor Ruth Mortimer said, "An Olympic medal winner has reached the highest possible point of personal and sporting achievement. By linking themselves to these people, brands are trying to create a shortcut to their own reputation in consumer minds" (GUARDIAN, 8/20).
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