It happened with Tiger, now it may be happening again. I must admit my disappointment to hear that U.S. Winter Olympic figurehead Lindsey Vonn may be unable to ski in Vancouver because of a very painful bruise to her shin. Or, she may ski but the injury might prevent her from being in the running for a medal. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know that Vonn has been at the center of the U.S. team’s promotional efforts for the Winter Games—just like swimmer Michael Phelps was for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Vonn goes into Vancouver as the face of Red Bull, Rolex, Procter & Gamble, Sports Illustrated (of late) and NBC. Bottom line: if she doesn’t compete, big sponsorship dollars and TV ratings go down the drain. Now, in no way can you compare Vonn’s situation to Tiger Woods’, but I can’t help thinking of the numerous “Don’t put all you eggs in one basket” comments by PR pundits after Tiger’s troubles broke. Is making one athlete the center of a corporate campaign looking for trouble? Personally, I hope Vonn is able to beat the injury and ski well, but the pressure she’s feeling now must be immense.
–Scott Van Camp