What's the Golden Ticket for Olympic Endorsements?
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games will begin on February 9th. American athletes will arrive proudly decked out in stars and stripes as they get one shot to cement a legacy for themselves, their family, and their country. These men and women are the most elite athletes in the world. Each one has completely devoted their life to their craft. Hours and hours a day are spent training, studying, researching, dieting, and more in hopes to have their dream come true: stepping up onto the podium, placing their right hand over their heart, and singing along to the Star-Spangled Banner with a shiny gold medal weighing down their neck and shoulders.
We see some of our favorite iconic Olympians flashing these medals and their smiles on commercials advertising all kinds of products. It would be an easy conclusion to draw that all Olympic athletes not only find success on the course, but also find great success and opportunities off the course, right? Not exactly.
While all Olympians totally devote their lives to their sport, and each one has put forth the utmost effort to represent their country, many of them will not reap the potential financial benefits once the games have ended. Some will land endorsement opportunities, but for many, it will end in Pyeongchang.
A recent USA Today article was written discussing the difficulties many Olympians face trying to enhance their brands off the course. A specific athlete they mention is US biathlete, Lowell Bailey. Bailey was the world champion in his sport last season and is now on his quest for gold. However, to the date of the article, Bailey had zero endorsement opportunities leading up to the Olympics.
Why aren’t Bailey and many others able to cash in on their success? The article sites a few possible reasons. Companies are looking for athletes that have great stories or interesting personality traits, that are in a sport that has a solid US audience, or that have had past Olympic success. For many of our 2018 Olympians, this will keep them out of the potential financial perks that can come off the course.
TSM believes that every Olympic athlete has a great story. They would not become a world class athlete without completing a unique journey. Each Olympian deserves a platform and an opportunity to help tell their story and enhance their brand.