Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 112
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Olympic Marketing Notes: Mo Farah Joins Usain Bolt In Virgin Mobile Campaign

Virgin Media has launched a new print and TV ad campaign featuring Gold Medal-winning British distance runner Mo Farah alongside Gold Medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in which Farah "wears the blonde, Bransonesque goatee beard," according to Nick Batten of CAMPAIGN LIVE. Farah has signed an "open-ended deal" with Virgin Media estimated to be worth about US$785,000. Print ads featuring Farah launched this past weekend "across a number of national newspapers" in the U.K., and spots starring Bolt "returned to TV screens during the weekend." The campaign comes via BBH, London, with "all media planning and buying handled by Fifty6" (, 8/20). Meanwhile, ADWEEK's Tim Nudd reported Puma is the latest company to exercise their "vicarious bragging rights" of Bolt's historic performance in London. Puma has created "simple billboards and posters from Droga5 showing the world's fastest man draped in the Jamaican flag." The ad carries the tagline, "And then Jamaica conquered England" (, 8/17).

: In Indiana, Colombo & King noted Gold Medal-winning U.S. diver David Boudia is entering his senior year at Purdue, but he has a “set of decisions before him.” Purdue hospitality and tourism management professor Xinran Lehto said that it “makes sense for Boudia to be the spokesman for an athletic product or brand,” and there also “might be local opportunities.” Boudia already “appears on a limited-edition Coca-Cola can and in a Visa commercial.” Boudia said, “A year ago, 10 years ago, I would never imagine I would be on a commercial with Visa. Hearing Morgan Freeman say my name is crazy.” Meanwhile, Purdue VP/Marketing & Media Teri Thompson said that an advertisement featuring Boudia “will appear next week in the Purdue Exponent, the school’s student newspaper.” Thompson said, “We’ll use him in brochures and in many of the marketing materials that we put out. We try to make sure we promote that the individual has a connection to Purdue” (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 8/19).

JEAH, MON: In Daytona Beach, Katie Kustura cited U.S. Patent & Trademark Office documents that note Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte “applied Aug. 1 to trademark ‘Jeah,’ which has become his signature catchphrase.” The documents noted Lochte plans to “put the phrase on swim goggles, clothing, accessories, calendars, drinking glasses and more.” T-shirts, hats and mugs that include the phrase “are already being sold on Lochte's website” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 8/19). Meanwhile, Lochte has expressed interest in appearing on ABC's "The Bachelor," and ESPN's J.A. Adande said, "Ryan Lochte has to cash in, and what better way to do it than by going on ‘The Bachelor’ under the guise of looking for true love.” ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “It sounds like a pretty good plan as long as you can sort of keep it under cover.” Adande: “Everything has to take place in front of a camera now. That’s the way it is in 2012” (“PTI,” ESPN, 8/17).

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN: Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas was profiled on NBC's "Dateline" last night, and NBC's Lester Holt noted Douglas has "vaulted into the endorsement stratosphere." She already has endorsements with Kellogg’s and Proctor & Gamble, and with "other deals on the way, she could rake in more than $10 million in the next four years.” Douglas said, “I don’t really look at the money because my agent handles that or my mom, so they deal with that. ... It’s really not about the money, though. It’s about just having fun” (“Dateline,” NBC, 8/19).