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Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Eliza McCartney's marketing potential soars

Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has not only won a bronze medal but also seen her marketing potential jump.

Agent Scott Newman said he had been fielding calls since McCartney's win on Saturday from possible sponsors.

The 19-year-old is already partnered with Nike and Anchor as commercial sponsors among others, with the sportswear company providing specifically designed shoes tailored for her sport and monogrammed.

Her success will likely mean a continuation or expansion of current sponsorship deals, or additional sponsors - but only if they are a good fit.

"We always thought we would review [the partnerships] post Olympics and consider what the opportunities are ahead of there, but most likely we'll take the same approach and keep a very core group of sponsors or stakeholders," Newman said.

Eliza McCartney in a still shot from a television commercial for Anchor. Photo / YouTube
Eliza McCartney in a still shot from a television commercial for Anchor. Photo / YouTube

"It has to obviously fit with Eliza first and foremost. It has to be about her and somebody she's really happy to partner with so that's the starting point."

McCartney has previously turned down sponsorships that she didn't think were a good fit, but with her recent success there were likely to be more coming knocking.

Newman said it was hard to put a figure on McCartney's marketing and sponsorship potential, Newman.

"It's too early to say," Newman said. "It varies and it just comes back to the worth of the athlete in some ways and the value that the sponsor perceives and what its worth to them."

For those athletes who managed to place at the Olympics, however, the support from High Performance Sport New Zealand is tangible.

For individual athletes who place between 9th and 12th, funding starts at $30,000 for the year, 4th to 6th sees this jump to $47,500 and a medal means $55,000. For those that secure gold, this reaches $60,000.

Commercial partnerships are additional to this and are usually a combination of funding and product in exchange for appearances, advertising, product placement and social media reach - something Newman said was a growing factor.

"Social media is starting to come into it a lot more now so how many followers or facebook likes do you have and that's starting to become critical so thats all about reach for the partner," Newman said.

McCartney's Facebook page has more than 23,000 likes, with more than 38,000 Instagram followers. Her growing profile and reach will be a bonus for sponsors.

- NZ Herald

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