For U.S. Olympic star Gabrielle Douglas, breakfast is just the start. Her deal to front Kellogg’s Corn Flakes boxes is likely to be followed by endorsement deals from major marketers looking to capitalize on America’s newest sports star.
“She’s got a great personality, a great smile, a great back-story,” said Jim Andrews, VP-content strategy for IEG, a sponsorship, research and consulting firm owned by WPP. “I think she’ll be at the top of the list for companies looking to do something with a U.S. Olympic athlete,” he said, adding that “she’s definitely got the potential to earn millions.”
Ms. Douglas’ endorsement stock soared higher than one of her vaults on Thursday night, when she added an all-around gymnastic gold medal to the team gold she won earlier in the week. Kellogg Co., an official sponsor of USA Gymnastics, announced a deal hours later, on Friday morning, that will put her on special-edition Corn Flakes boxes in the fall.
But another marketer was ahead of the game. Procter & Gamble signed up the gymnast before the games, putting her in a “raising an Olympian” video that was produced immediately after the U.S. Gymnastics Olympic trials.