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Farrington, Evolution Marketing look to cash in after gold medal

Surprise halfpipe gold-medalist Kaitlyn Farrington
In January, Kaitlyn Farrington wasn’t sure if she would be an Olympian. One month and one gold medal later, Farrington is on the verge of becoming a household name in America.

On the heels of her gold-medal run in the women’s halfpipe on Wednesday, Farrington went through the “car wash” of media appearances with NBC and other networks. There are now talks of her appearing on a popular late night and morning show when she returns to the U.S. next week, according to Joshua Schwartz of Evolution Marketing and Management, who has worked with Farrington since 2009.

Farrington was the final woman named to the U.S. snowboarding team in January, but she was able to reach the halfpipe finals and surprisingly defeated a field that included the previous three Olympic gold medalists, including teammates Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter.

Both Clark and Teter used their gold medal wins to catapult their careers to greater exposure beyond the snowboarding community, a difficult feat for an Olympic athlete. Notably, Teter appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and Ben & Jerry’s developed a new ice cream flavor in her honor.

It remains to be seen if Farrington can capitalize on her golden moment. If her social media accounts are any indication, she’s well on her way. Farrington has gained more than 10,000 Twitter and 14,000 Instagram followers since winning gold.

“I think the opportunity is definitely still there,” Schwartz said. “I think it’s a little more difficult because of the addition of all these X Games-type sports, so you have a lot of good-looking, cool athletes out there right now that aren’t the mold of the traditional Olympic sports. It can be a little more difficult to cut through the clutter, I guess.”

Farrington currently has relationships with Kellogg’s Cheez-It brand, Giro helmets and goggles, Gnu snowboards, Monster Energy and The North Face. Schwartz already has spoken with The North Face and Kellogg’s about ways to leverage Farrington’s gold medal into increased marketing opportunities.

“It’s an interesting story because her backstory is now coming out, and these are things that we’ve known for four years knocking on peoples’ doors trying to tell that story,” Schwartz said of Farrington's buildup to the Games, which included her family selling cattle from their farm to pay for her snowboarding career. “But it comes a lot easier when you become an Olympic gold medalist.”

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