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Volume 24 No. 114
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Attention Brought To Sponsors Validates Companies' Decisions To Partner With Lolo Jones

U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones came in fourth in Tuesday's 100-meter final and that “could certainly affect her future marketability,” but she “deserved every single dime of the marketing dollars she received before that race started,” according to Darren Rovell of McDonald's, Asics and Red Bull, “all of whom sponsored Jones, aren't in the business of throwing away their money.” They are in the business “of getting your attention and selling food, shoes and drinks.” Rovell: “Admit it, man or woman, Jones made you look up at the TV or at a magazine ad” (, 8/8). The Miami Herald’s Israel Gutierrez said, “I don’t think any Olympic athlete who gets commercial success as a result of whatever they did should be knocked for it because it’s so rare.” He added, “There is sort of a sexist element to this whole thing because look at Ryan Lochte, who pumped himself up, was on the cover of every magazine shirtless. Nobody’s saying he let down and he didn’t deserve all that attention” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/8).

INSTANT GRATIFICATION: Visa last night debuted two new commercials congratulating three U.S. Gold Medalists for their wins earlier in the day. Both spots featured voiceover work from actor Morgan Freeman, who said of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, “After winning Gold in ’04 and ’08, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor retired from volleyball to enjoy life off the court.” The spot displayed images of the two in action on the beach, and Freeman added, “But something kept calling them back for one more win.” The thing “calling them back” was the roar of the crowd in the ad, and Freeman said, “Congratulations Kerri and Misty on your third Olympic Gold Medal." A second spot dedicated to sprinter Allyson Felix was similar in tone, with video and images of Felix in action and Freeman saying, “Allyson Felix missed Gold by thirteen-hundredths of a second in ’04, eighteen-hundredths in ’08 and zero-hundredths today. Congratulations Allyson on your first individual Olympic Gold Medal" (THE DAILY).

RELISHING THE FAME: In Des Moines, Mark Emmert notes Gold Medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas now “can enjoy the benefits of all that sweat and success.” Sheryl Shade, Douglas' agent, said that she has been “contacted by numerous TV shows, from Oprah Winfrey to Chelsea Handler, looking to book the 16-year-old Olympic champion.” The itinerary for Douglas “still needs to be sorted out, but it’s clear that endorsement opportunities and publicity will consume her as soon as she lands in America.” Douglas said, “Everyone says it’s not going to hit me until I go home and see all these parades, posters, pictures of me. They said it’s going to be really crazy, but just enjoy it because it’s going to go by so fast. You’ve got to seize the moment. I’m so ready for it” (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/9). Douglas is on the cover of the latest issue of People magazine, and she said, "The photographers are telling me, ‘When you land it’s going to be all over the newsstands.’ So seeing my face on the cover of People magazine is definitely exciting” (“Today,” NBC, 8/9). Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Tom Mahon notes Kellogg’s gave the U.S. women’s gymnastics team a “sneak peak of the Corn Flakes box that will sport their images,” while P&G “created an ad congratulating them.” Mahon: “Life is good for the girls who combined to win five medals, including three golds. And, they are just beginning to realize what an impact their success will have on them” (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/9).

WATCH IT, BUDDY: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Scott Roxborough reported Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake has “fallen foul of the Olympic branding police after he wore a Richard Mille wristwatch” during his Silver Medal-winning run in the 100-meter final Sunday. The IOC said that it will “look into reports that Blake's watch might violate sponsorship rules that ban athletes from brandishing the logos of companies that are not official Olympic sponsors.” Blake is only the latest athlete at the Games “to catch the attention of the IOC's sponsorship officials.” The IOC required U.S. runner Nick Symmonds "to use white tape to cover up a temporary tattoo on his left arm bearing the Twitter handle of one of his sponsors” (, 8/8).

THE DALEY SHOW: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Cassell Bryan-Low cites critics as saying that British diver Tom Daley “has overdone it on the self-promotion and he's failed to medal in his first competition last week.” Daley is not “shy about pushing his personal brand,” and he has “attracted sponsors, including sportswear company Adidas and the auto maker Mini.” The exposure has prompted "a debate about the amount of effort Daley's expending on publicity versus training.” He will dive again this weekend in the men's 10-meter platform competition (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/9).