KWAN YOU SAY MARKETING POTENTIAL? C'MON, YES YOU KWAN
While the Americans' "generally disappointing" skating
performances in Nagano may have put a halt to the usual
post-Olympics "gravy train," Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski
are the "exception," according to Alexandra Peers of the
WALL STREET JOURNAL. Kwan has deals in the works, including
a TV contract, "but some hinge on her taking the gold."
Peers writes that while it looked as if skater Michael Weiss
would be another "big winner in the endorsement race," with
varying deals with AT&T, Coca-Cola, UPS and McDonald's, his
seventh-place finish hasn't earned him "any more offers"
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19). Kwan's agent Shep Goldberg
speculated that Kwan could earn $15-$20M, over a five to ten
year period after the Games (NEWSDAY, 2/19). Skating agent
Michael Rosenberg said Kwan "should make somewhere between"
$5-10 million dollars "whether she is amateur or
professional." Rosenberg: "Tara Lipinski has tremendous
potential. Nicole Bobek has tremendous potential. Tara
because she is the phenomenon, and Nicole because she is the
blond sexbomb" ("The Cutting Edge," TNT, 2/18).
SPONSOR NOTES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL awarded TV
advertising medals, giving Coca-Cola an "Individual Gold"
for its "Ice Hockey" spot, while awarding IBM the "Team
Theme Gold" for its "Look for Me" ad (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
2/19)....USOC sponsor United Airlines is allowing any member
of the U.S. delegation to stop over in Hawaii for as long as
they want, then reboard for the mainland at no extra charge
(USA TODAY, 2/19)....USA TODAY's Melanie Wells reports on
first-time Olympic sponsor Amway's Nagano presence, as Amway
"has stepped into the spotlight," and has gotten its
"typically low-profile, direct sales company and its copious
products noticed" through billboards, product placement, TV
ads and a sponsorship tent (USA TODAY, 2/19)....As of
yesterday, Molson had received 42,000 requests for wakeup
calls for the Canadian men's hockey games (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 2/19)....Paula Greenfield, who runs CA-based
Celebrity Source, on Ross Rebagliati's endorsement
potential: "I think if it was heroine or something, nobody
would want to touch him. I think marijuana has a totally
different stigma attached to it" (CP/EDM. JOURNAL, 2/19).