Olympic Names & Faces: Bilodeau In Demand By Canadian Companies
Published February 18, 2010
|Bilodeau Has Received Hundreds Of E-mails,
Calls From Companies Wanting To Sponsor Him
The GLOBE & MAIL’s Brenda Bouw reports Canada freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau’s telephone “hasn’t stopped ringing” since he won the men’s moguls competition Sunday, becoming the first Canadian to win a Gold Medal on home soil, and e-mails are “piling up by the hundreds as companies compete for a piece” of Bilodeau. He “appears to be playing his cards right by not ruling out representing any particular type of company.” Virgin Group Chair Richard Branson said that he is “open to talking to Canada’s historic Olympian about a potential role with his various brands.” However, Bouw notes Bilodeau “vows to stick with the sponsors that got him this far.” Marketing experts indicated that “no matter how many medals other Canadian athletes win during these Games … being the first will always put Mr. Bilodeau a step ahead of others when it comes to companies choosing a pitch man, or woman, to endorse their products” (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/18).TIME FOR DESSERT: Vermont-based Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has indicated that it will “bring out a new flavor to honor” U.S. Gold Medalist and Vermont native Hannah Kearney, who won the women’s moguls event. Kearney’s win will be “recognized with her favorite combination of coffee ice cream and chocolate cookies” that should be available “soon after the Olympics end.” No name has been given to the flavor, but Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson Sean Greenwood said it could be called “Kearney’s Java Jolt Bolt & Cookies” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/18).
|Bleiler Has Remained Relevant
With Magazine Appearances
CHAIR OF THE BOARD: U.S. snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler in June ’06 signed with agent Amy Stanton for representation, and the two have worked to build a business around Bleiler that will be on display today when she takes to the halfpipe. Bleiler has been featured on Coca-Cola cans and at retail in the U.S. nationwide in advance of the Games. AT&T also is showcasing her in a commercial that features Bleiler launching into space on her snowboard. The commercial is airing repeatedly during NBC’s broadcast of the Games. Blanton also has signed Bleiler to deals with BlackBerry, Nike and Oakley, among others. Since signing Bleiler, Stanton has signed eight more female action sports athletes, nine other athletes and two marketing consulting clients (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). In N.Y., John Branch reports Bleiler is “among the sport’s icons who have been leading a cultural shift by example.” With “more at stake than ever — in terms of prestige and money, mostly earned through endorsements — the ride-hard, party-hard attitude among top snowboarders has given way to a more mainstream, professional athlete work ethic.” Bleiler counts 24 Hour Fitness as a sponsor, and she previously has “showed off the body hidden beneath all those baggy clothes in various magazine spreads” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/18).
TECHNICAL SLIDER: CNET.com’s Ina Fried wrote U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb is a “reigning world champion … in addition to being a big computer nerd.” Holcomb is “never too far from technology,” as he “administers his own Web site, is a big time poster on Twitter, and carries a variety of gadgets from his BlackBerry to a Creative Zen music player.” He has also “found a practical use for that longtime hobby, using video games as a part of his training.” Holcomb: “The whole hand-eye coordination thing is a big factor but a lot of it too is special awareness” (CNET.com, 2/17).