By Kelly Wright
Fresh from Team GB’s greatest ever haul at an Olympic Games, executives from the world’s biggest brands are scrambling to sign athletes up to endorse their brands. Here are our pick of the athletes making the podium for marketability.
Bronze – Jess Ennis-Hill
Ennis-Hill’s heptathlon gold in London 2012 made her the poster girl for UK sport. Since then she has only enhanced her standing by returning from the birth of her first child to reclaim her world title and grab silver in Rio. Ennis-Hill’s squeaky clean public image has earned endorsements with Omega, BP, Santander and Adidas. Now seen as a ‘supermum’, Ennis-Hill is branching out into more family centric brands including Vitality and P&G’s ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign. Her image is likely to mature, rather than fade, over time.
Silver – Usain Bolt
Who else? Bolt is a brand with an international following. His infectious personality, laid-back charm and penchant for showmanship endears him to audiences and sponsors alike, such as Puma, Virgin Media, Visa and Nissan. But what next for the fastest man on earth? Bolt may have retired from Olympic competition but don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. Being the first person to win the triple triple means he heads into retirement with his stock at an all-time high. For now, he has trademarked his name and his signature ‘lightning bolt’ pose, and even has his own emoji. For the future, he has talked about moving into broadcasting and clothes designing, so watch this space.
Gold – Laura Trott
With her blonde pigtails and charismatic personality, Laura Trott is a sponsor’s dream. Already popular after London 2012, Rio has catapulted her into the big time. Now the most decorated British female Olympian ever aged only 24, her future competitive and commercial potential is vast. Already boasting big bucks sponsorship deals with Adidas and Prudential, she has recently partnered with Halfords to launch her own range of bikes. She can also regularly be seen promoting brands who send her freebies on Twitter. Her relationship with fellow Team GB cyclist and six-time gold medalist Jason Kenny has seen them mooted as the Posh and Becks of cycling. While Kenny prefers to keep a low profile away from the track, Trott looks set to reign supreme as the golden girl of UK sport.