Just five days after becoming the first black girl to win the all-around title in gymnastics and the first gymnast to win that title as well as the team gold, Gabby Douglas is on the cover of People Magazine.
She’ll likely make big bucks for the publication, considering she is the single most popular athlete in this year’s Olympics. According to the Associated Press:
NBC says the gymnastics gold medalist is the most clicked-upon athlete on its Olympics website. Through Sunday, her profile on the site had more than 18 million page views. That’s far above the second-ranked athlete, swimmer Michael Phelps, whose profile had just over 7 million page views.
Clearly, America loves women’s gymnastics. NBC also says that four of the five most clicked-upon athletes were female gymnasts.
Gabby’s press coverage was slow in the beginning as many were still focused on World Champion Jordyn Wieber. In fact MSNBC’s Tamron Hall credited black bloggers for the initial buzz around Gabby after she won an automatic bid in the US Olympic finals. By the time she led her team to win their first gold medal since the Magnificent Seven won in 1996, she was a household name. She sealed her place in history after becoming only the fourth US gymnast in history to win the all-around gold medal.
In the past two weeks, her rise in popularity has been nearly as stunning as her performances. She gained a Twitter shoutout from the likes of Oprah, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga; a website shoutout from Beyonce; a phone call from President Obama; and a face-to-face meeting with Kate Middleton. Not too shabby for a 16-year-old from Virginia Beach who only began training with her current coach in Iowa a mere 21 months ago.
Now the teen athlete can take her star power all the way to the bank. USA Today reports that Gabby is the biggest gymnastic star since Mary Lou Retton and her accomplishment combined with her personality ensures that the endorsements have already begun rolling in:
An all-around gymnastics gold medal is worth about $2 million annually in endorsements. And Douglas picked up a big one last Friday, landing on front of the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box. She’d previously signed a deal with Procter & Gamble after winning the U.S. Olympic trials in San Jose.
AJ Maestas, president of Chicago-based Navigate Marketing told LA Times: ”If [Gabby's] business is well-managed and her career stays on track, she should make between $2 million and $4 million in endorsement revenue per year for the next four years.”
Her business should be well-managed as the LA Times also reported that Gabby has an agent, Sheryl Shade. The same agent who helped Shawn Johnson parlay her 2008 Olympic performance of three silver medals and a balance beam gold into a post-Olympic career that included a winning turn on “Dancing With the Stars”. Sounds like Gabby is already on the right track.
Though the gymnast wrote that winning the Team Gold was the biggest night of her life, it’s highly likely she has big days ahead as well. Kudos to People Magazine for choosing her for the cover.
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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