Consumer brands flip for U.S. gymnasts

Ever wonder how you can make a living as a gymnast? Just ask Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.

With the Olympics still fresh on many minds, a number of brands are trying to leverage the appeal of the two medal winning gymnasts.

Both Liukin and Johnson were heralded for their skills in the Beijing Olympics, turning in elegant performances that showcased their athletic physiques. Now both gymnasts, who each won Olympic medals, are the latest darlings of sports marketing. 

Liukin and Johnson signed a deal with Covergirl before the Olympics (along with Alicia  Sacramone) and they wore custom-made makeup during their events. It’s the first time female athletes have been named as the face of CoverGirl and it’s a very different direction for the cosmetic company to go.  Keep your eyes peeled because these champions will be in ads seen on magazine newstands very soon.

Meanwhile, Nastia Liukin is also designing her first clothing line in collaboration with Vanilla Star Jeans. Nastia’s collection, which will hit all major department stores for the holiday season, will be titled the Gold Collection. Check the site for in-store appearances in your area.

“My style is very casual and relaxed so my ideas fit perfectly with the designs of Vanilla Star. I can’t wait to see my new Vanilla Star Gold Collection in the stores and be able to wear it too!” Nastia said in a press statement.

The collection will feature T-shirts and jeans designed by the gymnast. If you can’t wait until the holidays, the brand has come out with an “Inspired by Nastia” line that is in stores now.

In addition to her deal with Covergirl, Liukin has appeared on a Wheaties box and has sponsorships with Adidas, American Athletic, AT&T, GK Elite Sportswear, Visa, Longines and Sega. And she’s appearing in a guest role on “Gossip Girl.”

Johnson found gold even before heading to Beijing to compete for Olympic medals according to her hometown newspaper The Des Moines Register.

The petite 16-year-old has a slew of endorsement deals from major corporations like Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonald’s and Hy-Vee and appears in television ads and on Coke cans, ice cream boxes and orange juice containers. She drives a 2008 Land Rover LR2 and is outfitted in Adidas and GK Elite sportswear. And ABC cast her in a cameo role on ”The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” 

These gymnasts’ endorsements are worth more than $1 million each. And that was before they even won a Olympic medal.  Maybe time to pay their parents back for all the classes, travel and leotards.

Be sure to support the girls - and the brands that support them!!

More girls' sports, life and style at prettytough.com

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