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Entries in Olympics (9)

Friday
Aug172012

Ryan Lochte to Trademark ‘Jeah’ Catchphrase

Adam Pretty/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Swimmer Ryan Lochte didn’t just win gold at the London Olympics, he won worldwide fame as well.

And that fame is about to pay off.  Lochte applied on Aug. 1 to trademark his now-signature catchphrase, ‘Jeah,’ according to documents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Lochte plans to put ‘Jeah’ on sunglasses, clothing, jewelry, DVDs, key chains, trading cards, calendars, hats, posters, mugs, water bottles, swimsuits, swim goggles and swim caps. Looks like someone is trying to create a brand. Could a trademark on his Team USA grill be next?

Lochte said he came up with ‘Jeah’ after hearing the rapper Young Jeezy, who says ‘Cheah’ in a lot of his songs.  Lochte says to him, it means good or happy.

He also scored a guest-starring role on an upcoming episode of the CW’s teen drama 90210.

But with fame come lots of press interviews, and Lochte isn’t a natural there. Along with awkward pauses and occasional stuttering, he tends to say “like” a lot, or gives simple, one-word answers.

Fingers crossed he can act a little better than he interviews.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug152012

Nike T-Shirt Stirs Controversy

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nike is in hot water over a new Olympics t-shirt they’ve released, especially since it’s only being offered for women.

The plain black shirt boldly states “Gold Digger” across the chest. The product was intended to reference aspiring to win an Olympic gold medal, but some Facebook and Twitter users would beg to differ.

“Sort of undermines the strong woman image Nike has spent $$ to market,” said one Twitter user.

“Whoever thought a Nike t’shirt emblazoned with ‘GOLD DIGGING’ was a fitting tribute to female Olympians shuld be fired,” said another.

Even the product description on WorldSoccerShop.com acknowledges the underlying tone behind the slogan. “We aren’t saying they’re gold diggers – we’re just saying they’re out for the gold! What’s wrong with that?”

Nike has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug042012

Olympic Champion Gabby Douglas Could Bring in Millions of Dollars in Endorsements

Scott Halleran/Getty Images for Kelloggs(NEW YORK) -- Gabrielle Douglas is known as "The Flying Squirrel" in the gymnastics arena, but the teenager may also be flying into some big time endorsement deals following her big win in the 2012 Olympics.

The 16-year-old women's all-around gymnastics champion, who also took home a gold medal with Team USA, inked her first deal to appear on Cornflakes cereal boxes just hours after her individual win.

Experts have estimated the Olympic golden girl could bring in up to $10 million in endorsements over the next few years.

"Gabby Douglas is perfect for family oriented brands that are looking for someone that portrays all of those classic Middle America values," said Robert Tuchman, a sports marketing analyst.

Another Olympic darling, gold medal-swimmer Michael Phelps, collects an estimated five to seven million dollars each year in endorsements thanks to careful work building his brand.

"The biggest thing that Gabby needs to think about is building that legacy. What is her brand? What is she all about?" said Shannon Miller a former Olympic gymnast who took gold with the Magnificent 7 in 1996 and now works as a Yahoo! sports analyst.

Miller said endorsement deals poured in after her win with Team USA at the Atlanta games, and she knows that Douglas' spunk will bring in countless offers.

"That infectious smile and the joy -- when you are trying to market a product, that's what you want," Miller said.

At 16-years-old, Douglas, who also made history as the first African-American woman to win the all-around gymnastics competition, could come back and do it all again in four years.

"For Gabby, its less about the endorsement deal and the numbers she's signing and more about 'how many kids am I going to inspire?'" Miller said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug042012

Missy Franklin Will Put Off Endorsement Fortunes to Swim in College

Clive Rose/Getty Images(LONDON) -- If the experience of past Olympians is any guide, gold-medalist swimmer Missy Franklin could be swimming in money after she heads home to Colorado from the London games.

But the teenager has defied conventions in nearly every aspect of her path to London, where she has already won three gold medals and one bronze. Now Franklin, 17, will forgo immediate fortunes in endorsements and prize money to remain an amateur.

In an indication of what Franklin is passing up, gymnast Gabby Douglas -- America's other darling of the Olympics -- will appear on a special-edition box of Corn Flakes, Kellogg announced Friday.

Rather than star on a cereal box, Franklin would like to compete in college. Skipping endorsement deals and the promo-laden route to Michael Phelps-like celebrity is the latest in Franklin's I'll-do-it-my-way style.

Her income from deals would likely be "in the millions," according to Ronald Oswalt, CEO of the San Marcos, Texas-based Sports Marketing Experts.

Franklin, who will soon be a high school senior in Aurora, Colo., has already turned down $100,000 in prize money and many times that in endorsements, the Wall Street Journal estimated.

But Franklin's decision to maintain amateur status, a requirement for competing in the NCAA, might have a long-term personal payoff, if not a financial one, said Oswalt, who specializes in connecting athletes with sponsorships.

"Winning a gold medal can be priceless, but cashing in on the glory could or couldn't turn into happiness," he said.

Oswalt applauds Franklin's parents for not pressuring her to reap monetary rewards from her success in the pool.

"So many parents push their kids," he said. "They think the Olympics are going to be their payday, but her dreams have already come true."

The decision might also have been a prudent one because of the pressures that high-profile endorsements bring, said Evan Morgenstein, a sports agent who has represented U.S. Olympic swimmers Dara Torres and Janet Evans. With endorsements come many requirements and, often, a commitment to perform for years, he said.

Franklin's decision could not have surprised those who have followed her unorthodox career.

Since age 7, Franklin has stuck with the same coach she was paired with the first day she walked into a Colorado swimming club, which did not even own its own pool. She did not move to a part of the country known for producing swimming gold medalists like Florida or California. Her coach, Todd Schmitz, is now a member of the U.S. Olympic coaching staff.

Franklin's famous versatility in the pool -- she qualified for seven events in London, two of them the very different backstroke and freestyle -- is a result of her unconventional refusal to specialize in a single stroke early on.

Franklin only endeared herself more this week when she dedicated her Olympic victories to the victims in her hometown of the movie theater massacre that killed 12 and injured 58.

"Everything I've done here is for them," she said immediately after breaking the 200-meter backstroke world record for her third gold medal.

Even without appearing on television for sandwich commercials, as Phelps famously did, Franklin's cheerful demeanor has long made her a media sweetheart. After a triumphant trip to London, she is likely to keep that status, even if she does it from a collegiate swimming pool. And after all, Oswalt said, she is only 17.

"She should enjoy her senior year," he said. "She can make a decision in 2014 or 2015. She still has time."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug032012

Gymnastics Champ Gabby Douglas to Be Featured on Cereal Box

PRNewsFoto/Kellogg Company(NEW YORK) -- Gabby Douglas made history Thursday when she edged out her competition to win the most coveted title in all of women's gymnastics – a gold medal in the women's individual all-around competition – and a gold medal in the team competition.

Now the 16-year-old Virginia Beach, Va., native will be honored like so many champions before her – with her photo emblazoned on a cereal box.

Kellogg’s said Friday that Douglas will be featured on special-edition boxes of Corn Flakes, scheduled to hit store shelves this fall.

"I'm so proud to be part of this gold-medal winning team and I'm thrilled I was able to bring home the all-around gold for Team USA as well," Douglas said in a press release.

The champion gymnast has already received praise from the likes of President Obama and Oprah Winfrey, who posted on Twitter Thursday, "OMG I'm so THRILLED for Gabby. Flowing happy tears!!"

Kellogg is a sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug012012

Sen. Rubio Introduces Bill to Eliminate Tax on Olympic Prizes

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Cal(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a bill today in the Senate that would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying federal taxes on their medals and prize money earned in the Olympics.

“Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness,” Rubio said in a paper statement today announcing his legislation.  “Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home.”

Under U.S. tax law, the athletes must add the value of their Olympic medals and prizes to their taxable income, and are taxed at a rate of 35 percent by the IRS.

Americans for Tax Reform found that the value of a gold medal is about $675, meaning that athlete could be on the hook for $236 extra tax burden.

Olympians who win medals also receive cash payments -- $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. This taxable income could mean that Gold Medal winner could face a tax on the cash prize, in addition to the amount from the tax on their medal, at $8,750, according to the Americans for Tax Reform.

Rubio said athletes should not be punished in this way by their athletic achievement.

“We need a fundamental overhaul of our tax code, but we shouldn’t wait any time we have a chance to aggressively fix ridiculous tax laws like this tax on Olympians’ medals and prize money,” Rubio said.  “We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it.”

Rubio’s bill, if taken up and passed in Congress, would apply to awards won after Dec. 31, 2011.

The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the tax on Olympic medals and prize money won by United States athletes.  If enacted into law, the gross income of Olympic athletes “shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games.”  

A copy of Rubio’s bill can be found here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Made in America: USOC, Sens. Announce Deal for Olympic Uniforms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States Olympic Committee and a group of Democratic U.S. Senators today announced a deal that requires U.S. Olympians’ opening and closing ceremony uniforms to be “Made in America” starting in 2014.

The announcement, made from the office of Sen. Menendez, D-NJ, today, comes after Menendez and 11 other Democratic Senators introduced legislation in the Senate last week that would require the U.S. Olympic Committee to outfit the U.S. Olympic team in clothes made in America for all future Olympic games.

On Wednesday, Sen. Menendez met with USOC Chairman Larry Probst and USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun in Washington. As a result of those discussions, the USOC drafted and adopted a new Team USA uniform policy which mirrors the “Team USA Made in America Act,” legislation filed by the Senators in Congress.

“I’m incredibly pleased that the USOC has formally adopted the requirements outlined in the Team USA Made in America Act,” said Menendez.  “This new policy – which will not be altered without informing the Congress - is a clear win for both America’s athletes and America’s workers. “  

“We were pleased to work with Sen. Menendez and his colleagues in Congress to address their concerns regarding Team USA’s parade uniforms,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “After listening to feedback from members of Congress, we have committed, along with our partners at Ralph Lauren, to make future parade uniforms in the United States.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul202012

McDonald’s Announces Menu for Olympic Park

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Four McDonald’s restaurants will takeover Olympic Park at this year’s events in London.

Traditional McDonald’s items -- the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Filet-O-Fish and Chicken McNuggets -- comprise the menu.

A few items that you may not recognize are also available.  The Wispa Gold McFlurry is made with “soft dairy ice cream swirled with Cadbury Wispa pieces and a Cadbury Caramel sauce.”  The dessert has 400 calories and 14 grams of fat.

The Chicken Legend is a crispy chicken sandwich served with spicy tomato salsa that will be sold at the games.  Other items include a Sweet Chili Chicken Wrap, croissants and pain au chocolat. 

While you might not recognize these items, they are widely available at restaurants in the U.K.

The menu features a full McCafe menu along with breakfast. Carrots and salads are also available for those looking for healthier options.

The following locations will serve the Olympic menu: “one in the Athletes’ Village, one in the Main Media Centre (MMC), and two retail locations for spectators (World Square and Orbit Circus).” 

The World Square location is a whopping 9,843 square feet and the company has posted photos of it on their Flickr site.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

Nearly One Million Olympic Tickets to Go on Sale

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nearly one million Olympic tickets will go on sale Friday, including tickets to the highly coveted opening and closing ceremonies.

The upcoming sale gives hope to the one million people who applied previously but didn’t get tickets.  First dibs will go to the 20,000 people who missed out on the initial ballot and again on a subsequent second sale. They will have 31 hours of exclusive access.

After that, those who applied in the initial ballot will have five days to purchase tickets.

There are a total of 8.8 million tickets to the Olympic Games.  The Telegraph reported that of those, about six-and-a-half million are for fans, another million for countries sending athletes to the games and the final million are split between sponsors, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), guests and hospitality partners.

Unauthorized websites claiming to sell Olympic tickets are plentiful.  LOCOG, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, has a “ticket checker” site with a list of known unauthorized sites.

For those who are able to score tickets in this latest sale, airfare and lodging to the Olympics is still available.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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