Which U.S. Olympic athlete’s sponsors spent most?

by Media Life Magazine

Who was the top U.S. Olympic athlete of the Rio Games? Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps are all obvious contenders.

However, when it comes to advertising dollars from brand sponsors, U.S. Olympic decathlete Ashton Eaton came away with gold.

Eaton’s sponsors spent a total of $26.7 million between June 1 and Aug. 19, according to analysis from Kantar Media. The company looked at TV, print, radio and online ads and added up the total investment behind each athlete.

Backed by Chobani, Coke, Gillette, United Airlines and Visa, gold medalist Eaton walked away with the 2016 crown among U.S. athletes.

Missy Franklin tops Michael Phelps

In another surprise, simmer Missy Franklin had more ad spending behind her than Michael Phelps. Franklin’s sponsors spent $18.3 million, while Phelps’ dropped $10.9 million.

Kantar’s chief research officer Jon Swallen says this reflects the gamble advertisers take when trying to forecast who the hot athletes of the Olympics will be.

“For brands with limited budgets this can mean hitching their wagon to an up-and-comer rather than a recognized – and more expensive – star,” he writes.

Gymnastics champ Biles was No. 2 overall and just ahead of Franklin, with her sponsors spending $19.8 million.

The No. 4 athlete wasn’t even competing this summer. It was alpine skier Lindsay Vonn, who’s ads for Reese’s generated $15.5 million in spending.

View the original article from Media Life Magazine


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