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Volume 24 No. 117
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Soccer Star Alex Morgan Seen As A Fresh Face In The Marketing World

NWSL Portland Thorns F Alex Morgan has become the "new face" of women's soccer in the U.S., and only retired player Mia Hamm has "experienced the whirlwind of mainstream stardom that is now sweeping up Morgan," according to Grant Wahl of SI. Morgan is a "fresh-faced scorer with limitless marketing potential." Her annual income has past the $1M mark, the "vast majority of it coming from endorsements" with companies including Nike, Panasonic, AT&T and Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola Senior VP/Sports & Entertainment Marketing Sharon Byers, when asked "what kind of company Morgan keeps" as an endorser, mentioned Heat F LeBron James and actress Jennifer Aniston. Wahl notes Morgan posed in body paint for the '12 SI Swimsuit Issue and walked the runway at N.Y.'s Fashion Week last fall. In the last two months she "took a one-day trip to Chile to shoot a Bridgestone tire commercial" and visited N.Y. again "for the release of her first effort in a three-book tween series" called "The Kicks." Western New York Flash F Abby Wambach, Morgan's teammate on the U.S. national team, said Morgan is "the face of women's soccer." Wambach: "Alex is taking on a different role (from mine). She'll have more of the mainstream popularity of being the pretty girl and being able to cross over to 15- and 25-year-old men -- the Mia Hamm-like qualities that touch millions. But she's not just a pretty face. So much attention on women in sports is based on looks, but Alex backs that up with even stronger athleticism. I'd absolutely compare her to David Beckham in terms of her appeal" (SI, 6/24 issue).