Olympians Ohno, Vonn among P&G endorsers

Updated: September 29, 2009, 1:23 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Five-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno is among the athletes endorsing Procter & Gamble Co. products as part of the company's 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics marketing.

Cincinnati-based P&G recently announced sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic team for the next two Olympics. Company officials Tuesday said they have also reached agreements with six athletes so far, with more expected.

Speedskater Ohno, a medalist in the past two Winter Olympics, added to his popularity with his 2007 victory in ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." Seattle native Ohno and snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis will be featured in Vicks cold medicine advertising.

Speedskater Allison Baver, ice dancer Tanith Belbin, bobsledding's Vonetta Flowers and skier Lindsey Vonn will promote P&G beauty brands such as Pantene shampoo and Olay skin cream.

Kirk Perry, P&G's vice president for North America, said the consumer products maker plans substantial promotions, including online and mobile advertising, beginning in the weeks leading to the Feb. 12-28 games.

"We've got tremendous athletes representing our brands," he said. "These folks are all medal contenders."

He expects to add to the endorser lineup before and after the games.

The world's biggest advertiser has been expanding its sports marketing, in August making a major sponsorship deal with the National Football League. Perry said P&G likes the ability to reach multiple key demographic groups through sports.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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