Olympians eye commercial deals
Sat, 18 Aug 2012 6:10p.m.
By Susie Nordqvist
Our Olympians are home and most of them can now look forward to another four years of hard slog in Spartan surroundings as they prepare for the next games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
But for a select few, a much more lucrative lifestyle beckons – one full of commercial endorsements, sponsorship deals and speaking engagements.
It was by all accounts a fortnight from hell for Valerie Adams.
First she found out she had been left off the starting list for the Olympic Games.
Then she finished second, and within days the revelation that the woman who had beaten her to gold had actually cheated.
But the 27-year-old's hard luck story could work in her favour.
“I think prior to that she was certainly seen as very talented, but also probably a bit standoffish,” says Simon Arkwright, chief executive of the Sport Research Group.
“And now I think being able to relate to that celebrity endorser is important. While it's been a fortnight no one would want, it has actually made her probably more marketable.”
Adams is among a handful of Olympians who have been singled out in a survey released today by Mr Arkwright’s company as having the most appeal with audiences.
Topping the likeability list was Mahe Drysdale at 87 percent, followed by Sarah Walker at 86 percent, Eric Murray at 84 percent, Valerie Adams at 78 percent and Nathan Cohen at 79 percent.
But when it came to public awareness of the athlete, Valerie Adams shot up the table and Walker slipped down: Valerie Adams at 91 percent, Mahe Drysdale at 87 percent, Eric Murray at 85 percent, Sarah Walker at 84 percent and Nathan Cohen at 82 percent.
Sources have told 3 News that post-Olympic opportunities could net the stars anywhere between $5000 and $10,000 for a speaking engagement, and around $50,000 for a product endorsement, right up to $200,000.
For athletes who have struggled financially for years while chasing their sporting dream, it's a welcome change.
“To be honest I haven't thought too much about that,” says gold medallist Nathan Cohen. “Mum and Dad might like it because they've been my biggest backers over the years.”
And that, Mr Arkwright says, is exactly what makes Cohen so appealing.
“It's coming back to the way we actually like our heroes – knowing that they're good, but again slightly humble with it as well,” says Mr Arkwright.
But one former Olympian says athletes must work hard to strike a balance between their sport and new marketing opportunities.
“On one hand, they want to increase their financial value and set themselves up after sport,” says Hamish Carter. “But at the same time, the more they do that the more it can distract their ability to be the athlete they can to be.”
While the financial rewards can set athletes up for a life beyond sport, a gold medal won't guarantee success in the commercial space. The right personality is needed, too.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
19/08/2012 12:33:04 p.m.
NZ Olympians have only got to the Olympics by self motivation and a lot of personal funding too in many cases and would not blame them if they took up a lucrative deal at least they will get something for their hard work - in other Countries Olympians are like superstars!
19/08/2012 7:57:01 a.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Valerie Adams, million $$$ deal on offer....
New Zealand free skiier Rose Battersby still has aspirations of competing at nex...
Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale has one more thing on his to do list before he re...
Select your blogger
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.