When New Jersey native Rebecca Soni ventured to London for the Olympic Games, she admittedly planned on winning a gold medal. And that is just what she did. However, she didn’t stop there.
Not only did she win a gold medal in the 200 meter breastroke, she dominated every heat and set a new world record in the semifinal by finishing in 2:19.59. As if that wasn’t enough, she became the first woman ever to go under 2:20.
It has been an incredible ride for the Plainsboro native and it will likely become an even better one. Though she may not become as marketable as Britain’s Jessica Ennis or fellow USA Olympian Gabby Douglas, Soni can expect a plethora of sponsorships and advertisements coming her way. The twenty-five year-old swimmer has become a household name and has a story to tell as her parents are Hungarian immigrants.
Most importantly, she’s in a sport that has grown considerably since the arrival of some guy named Michael Phelps. Phelps has brought immense popularity to the sport of swimming and it has not gone unnoticed by advertisers. Swimmers, like most Olympians, have a great opportunity to secure endorsements. They’re in a sport where their face is visible and, to not get too descriptive, they stay in great shape. This only adds to their marketability.
Further, with her ever growing following on twitter, Soni can also demonstrate to advertisers and sponsors that she has the following to warrant an endorsement deal. Though she’s not Gabby Douglas, who is estimated to receive anywhere between $1-13M per endorsement, Soni could certainly acquire several endorsements reaching the hundreds of thousands. Not too shabby for someone who was a relatively unknown heading into the Olympics. Being a new face, having a story to tell, acquiring a following, and bringing home a gold medal will help propel Soni into some significant endorsements.
Even if she doesn’t become the next American icon, she will have her fair share of advertisements and endorsement deals coming her way.