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MKTG Sochi Insights: Endorsement Watch

MKTG Sochi Insights: Endorsement Watch

Tier-1 sponsors are constantly in search of the "next big property". Whether it be with an emerging event, team, or athlete, sponsors who can gain a first-mover advantage and "own" a property that is authentic to their brand will be able to differentiate themselves in-market. From the lens of identifying emerging athletes, there are few platforms that rival the Olympics. Out of each Olympic Games, marketable stars are born. After the Vancouver 2010 Games, it was Canadian athletes like Jon Montgomery (Skeleton), Drew Doughty (Men's Hockey), Tessa Bonhomme (Women's Hockey), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Ice Dancing), and Ashleigh McIvor (Freestyle Skiing) that emerged with significant sponsor interest. Olympic athletes present brands with the unique opportunity to wrap themselves in a Canadian flag and align themselves with a brand ambassador that is relevant not only in select markets, but nationally.

Throughout our "Sochi Insights" series, MKTG will be identifying Canadian talent that is sure to spark the interest of brands. We begin our endorsement watch with a look at not just one athlete, but a family of them. The Dufour-Lapointe sisters - Justine (Gold), Chloe (Silver), and Maxine (12th)- who all competed in the Freestyle Moguls event have captured the hearts of fans and the eyes of marketers across Canada. Pundits are calling their performance at the games the "Million Dollar Mogul Run" due to the platform they will likely receive post-Sochi. Using our endorser scorecard, MKTG examines what makes the sisters marketing gold.

1. Proven Performance: The sisters, specifically Justine and Chloe, are proven individual talents. After a highly successful World Cup season, sponsors can count on them to consistently perform. Most brands are going to want to partner with proven commodities whether their "performance" is at an elite level or as a fan favourite/community leader.

2. Life cycle - The narrative of the athlete should align to the story you are trying to tell. Justine and Chloe likely have 1-2 more Olympics in them. Their careers are the rise, so for brands looking to make a long-term play and grow with an athlete on their sponsor roster, the Sisters are a strong fit.

3. Strength as a Brand/Channel - Immediately after their medal race, the Sisters  spoke of how sport is only one passion in their life; the other being fashion. A strong social media presence on Twitter and Instagram, and the potential for brand extensions (ie. - their own fashion line) are traits that will contribute positively  to their potential impact as a partner. These factors are becoming more and more important in an increasingly digital age.

4. Maturity & Morality - The individual maturity and stability of an athlete is crucial to a partnership.  Brands must be able to introduce their athlete to senior management or key clients. With the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, there appears to be little risk.

5. Sponsor Roster - The sisters are a relatively empty canvass when it comes to brand partners. Beyond Oakley (endemic) sponsoring their Ski goggles, the sisters are sponsored by Saputo, a Quebec-based dairy company. For now, there is little sponsor clutter surrounding them, increasing the value for brands who decide to invest in them.

The family success of the sisters is an inclusive, positive message that all Canadians can relate too and many brands will be looking to capitalize on. MKTG breaks down which brands the Sisters may make the most sense for.

Dufour-Lapointe Sisters Sponsorship - Brands to Watch :

1. Proctor & Gamble: When 3 sisters compete in one Olympic Event, their parents must have something to do with it. The family success and storylines regarding the dedication and sacrifice of the Dufour-Lapointe parents fits well with the "Thank You Mom" and "Raising an Olympian" narrative. The fashion interest of the sisters may also come to a life through a sponsorship with P&G cosmetic brand, Covergirl.

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