ENDORSEMENT PROFILE: SOME QUESTION IF ANYONE WILL CASH IN
No U.S. athletes in Nagano are "likely to enjoy
anything close to the record" $5M in endorsements that Mary
Lou Retton took home after the '84 Summer Games, according
to USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz. Horovitz: "If consumers
didn't watch the Nagano Games, why would they suddenly buy
products hawked by medal winners?" While eight gold medal
winners graced Wheaties boxes after the '96 Games, only the
U.S. women's hockey team is featured this year. Wheaties
spokesperson Pam Becker: "Customers felt we cheapened the
equity by putting too many athletes on the box after the
Summer Olympics." Gold Medal Management's Brad Hunt, who
represents Picabo Street, said it could be 90 days before
she signs her next deal: "You can't make a status report one
day after the closing ceremonies." D&F's Allen Furst said
that his group is negotiating with "several Japanese firms"
for his client, Nicole Bobek (USA TODAY, 2/24).
LOOKING AHEAD: The IOC has formed an internal committee
called the Millennium Olympics Group "to plan out
Millennium-themed marketing activities that would culminate"
at the 2000 Syndey Games (AD AGE, 2/24). USA TODAY's Bruce
Horovitz wrote that advertisers "already are gearing up" for
Sydney as marketing teams from GM, Coca-Cola and McDonald's
are set to meet to "plot strategy" (USA TODAY, 2/23).
AD REVIEWS: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott reviews ads around
the Games, writing on the "poor performance" of Madison Ave.
with "dreadfully dull commercials" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/24).