SBJ/April 7-13, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike signs skier Heidi Kloser as ambassador for Olympic program

Less than two months removed from an injury that precluded her attempt to win a medal in the Sochi Olympics, moguls skier Heidi Kloser has signed with Nike as she begins her journey toward the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

An injury during a practice run kept Kloser from competing in the Sochi Games.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES

Financial terms of the deal were not available, but Kloser’s agent, Johnny Alamo of Johnny Alamo Entertainment, said Kloser will be an ambassador in Nike’s Olympic program and potentially part of a campaign for Nike’s women’s training and athletic line. Her deal runs through the 2018 Olympics.

An announcement is expected this week.

Sara Blasing, director of North America communications and running and women’s training at Nike, declined to comment on the contract but did say, “We look forward to our relationship with Heidi and celebrating her future successes.”

Kloser, 21, from Vail, Colo., was considered a medal contender entering the Sochi Games but she tore knee ligaments and broke her femur during a practice run on Feb. 6, the day before the opening ceremony. That ended her medal aspirations and led her to question if she was still an Olympian — a question that was highlighted by Liberty Mutual Insurance in a TV ad that featured Kloser and her parents (with her mother answering “Yes, honey; absolutely”) as part of that company’s “Rise” campaign during the Olympics.

“The Liberty Mutual ad during the Olympics reached millions and made her a household name, which is rare for the sport of mogul skiing, as alpine athletes typically take the spotlight,” Alamo said.

Alamo noted how two brand-name companies have now aligned with Kloser despite the fact she has yet to officially compete in an Olympics let alone stand on a podium.

“I think what this is showing is the future of sports marketing,” Alamo said. “It’s about what people can relate to. [You] see all the time an athlete doing something so outlandish or so over-the-top the general public can’t really relate to it, but everybody can relate to when Heidi asked her parents in the ambulance in Sochi, Russia: ‘Am I still an Olympian?’ Everybody felt that.”

Kloser underwent surgery roughly three weeks ago and is currently able to ride a stationary bike and put a limited amount of weight on her leg.


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