Disney Co. announced on March 5, 2002 that Michelle will
be a spokeswoman and celebrity representative for the company.
This is the second recent deal between the Walt Disney Company
and a high profile athlete --Tiger Woods signed with Disney
in June, though Michelle's agreement and duties are said to
be far broader than those performed by Tiger. Financial terms
of the 3 year agreement between Michelle and Disney were not
disclosed, though it is estimated at $1 million a year.
Michelle will be
a representative for a number of Disney products and services,
including its theme parks, restaurants, cruise lines and hotels,
as well as movies, television and radio. She will work with
divisions throughout Disney. Among her activities at Disney,
Michelle will make personal as well as radio and television
appearances, host public service announcements and serve as
a presenter at Disney awards programs. She will be featured
in marketing and promotional activities for Disney's theme
parks, restaurants, cruise line, hotels, publishing activities,
consumer products, motion pictures, television and radio activities
and retail stores.
Ken Green said the decision to sign Michelle was made before
the Olympics, and was based on Michelle's previous relationship
with the company. "We were planning this with (Kwan) regardless,"
Green said. "She's an icon ... She's got the charisma, the
pizzazz, the enthusiasm and the international appeal we love.
We saw her as the ideal celebrity spokesperson for us irrespective
of how she would have performed in the Olympics this time."
president of Walt Disney Studios Marketing and Synergy, said,
Kwan is the perfect person to represent our theme parks, sports,
publishing, broadcasting and consumer products around the
world. She has a huge worldwide appeal and is a role model
for children and adults. Michelle exemplifies beauty, wholesomeness,
grace and charm in addition to her athletic talent. These
wonderful qualities and her outstanding sense of sportsmanship
were especially evident at last month's Olympics. We
know a champion isn't made by the medals, rewards and plaques
but by the sense of character that Michelle truly has. She
is clearly a role model for kids, young adults and parents
Our consumers and
guests will enjoy seeing this immensely popular young skater
in person and on television at various Disney events. These
will range from the opening of new facilities to charitable
events, ice skating events, guest appearances on original
programming and at our ESPN Zone events, and at product promotions."
later said of her potential, "The sky's the limit. To us,
she's a great role model for kids and teens. She truly has
the right attitude, the right ethics, the right personality.
She's contemporary. She's relevant...Here's a woman who's
so well-rounded and is diverse. We never really even considered
that. You just look at the type of person she is, the qualities
she brings within her personality, her leadership, focus,
commitment. Staying with something, staying committed to something.
'Don't let minor disappointments along the way keep you from
your dreams, kids. Follow your dream.' It's about passion,
and for me that's so much more."
"I've been a fan of Disney my whole life, so now to become
part of the Disney family is incredible. I am delighted and
truly honored to serve as a spokesperson for the company."
In the past,
Michelle has starred in Disney and ABC
television specials and has contributed to several figure
skating-related books published by Disney.
This new contract greatly expands on the range of services
she has previously provided for Disney.
Michelle was at
the Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena
Vista, Florida on Friday, April 5, 2002 with Timothy Goebel.
They rode in a motorcade, and also both put their hands, skates,
and signatures into cement. Michelle and Tim were with Mickey
Mouse in a white old fashioned car. After the parade, at the
center stage, she and Tim were introduced and interviewed.
She was announced as a two-time Olympic medalist, four-time
World champion, and six time National chamption. When asked
about her future plans, she mentioned that she would still
be skating but was going back to school. She
and Tim both put the impressions of their skates in cement
and signed it. renaem131, who was at the event, said that
she overheard Disney people saying that they were going to
shut down some rides so that Michelle and Tim could go on
them. They visited Walt Disney World during the yearlong "100
Years of Magic" celebration. "
Michelle was on
Disney, doing a station promotion. Just before the commercial
break, she said, "Hey everyone this is Michelle Kwan and Radio
Disney is going to go skate! Stick around!" Then, after the
commercial break, she said, "Hey this is Michelle Kwan and
Radio Disney is back!"
Michelle was at
Primetime Preview Weekend at Disney's California Adventure
in Anaheim on August 24, 2002. You can see Michelle's name
on the list
of attendees. Michelle appeared as part of her affiliation
with ABC Sports, along with "Monday Night Football" announcers
Al Michaels and Melissa Stark. Events included a Q&A showcase
and a parade of stars. The "Sports Panel" Q&A was at 1:00
on Saturday, August 24 at the Golden State Amphitheatre. She
was in about the 8th car in the "Parade of Stars,"
riding with Snow White, after the Drew Carey show stars and
the Monday night Football crew. California Adventures broke
attendance records that weekend because of the event! For
more information on the Q&A, check out my
post on the event from the MK Forum. A picture of Michelle
the parade appeared in the September 9, 2002 of US
recently recorded a voice over in a Hollywood recording studio
2," a direct-to-video release scheduled for 2004. Michelle
has three lines, plus a "wail." She is the voice
of a shopkeeper named Michelle. Her three lines are:
"We just got in some excellent ginger."
"How about some fresh ginseng?"
The third line
is an "in" joke ("conceived to elicit laughs from
kids because it sounds funny and guffaws from those who know
skating lingo."): "We have a special today.
Fresh salchow. Yum, yum."
Thomason, head of casting for Disney TV and animation, assured
Michelle, "You're going to do it a million times.
We do it with everybody." She's told to do her first line
again... faster... slower... perky. Her second line must be
repeated... whispered... louder... enticing. Finally, there
are several versions editors can choose from when the scene
She does so well that, as a reward, she gets to do another
line...the comically drawn-out wail of someone who nearly
falls but pulls off a "Kwan-like, graceful landing."
She's finished in about 35 minutes. Thomason says, "Hey, you're
good at this." Michelle is relieved, asking, "Can you imagine
doing 100 pages?"
Also, during a
day off from the 2002 COI tour, she spent a morning in Pasadena
filming scenes that will be references for animation drawings
of a figure skating competition between Minnie Mouse and Daisy
Duck in the movie "Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas."
Among other information
from a recent LA
Times article is that her contract with Disney as their
"global spokeswoman" is the the company's "most
extensive deal with an athlete. It eclipses a five-year deal
Disney made with golfer Tiger Woods a year ago, because his
is for broadcast work only. Hers extends to parks, radio,
theatrical, video and voice-overs." It also sheds more
light on the contract, writing that "Kwan's Disney deal,
estimated at $1 million a year, provides for appearances at
Disney theme parks in China and Hong Kong, on Disney Channel
programs and possibly ABC sitcoms, and doing voices in "Mulan"
Michelle learned from skateboarder Tony Hawk on Saturday, July 19, 2003, at the X Games Xperience at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim. Check out a picture of Michelle and Tony, as well as 10 pictures from newscom.
Michelle attended the Mulan II DVD Launch Party on January 22, 2005. The special screening took place in the Frank G. Wells Screening Room on the The Walt Disney Studios lot
in Burbank, CA. The event was also a benefit for two organizations:
The Center for Asian Arts & Media and Families With Children From China (which also received a $2500 charitable donation from Disney.)
Michelle's first contract with Disney contract ended in March 2005. In the March 20, 2005 issue of Parade Magazine about the contract ending, the writer says, "Speaking of the Disney contract ending, she laughed when I said: 'Well, we all get old.'"
On February 16, 2006, Disney announced that Michelle will serve as a celebrity representative and spokesperson for businesses across the entire range of The Walt Disney Company.
As part of the multiyear agreement, Michelle may participate in advertising, promotions or public service announcements involving all of Disney's businesses, make guest appearances on original programming and personal appearances at live Disney events, and take part in Disney's company-wide initiatives.
Matt Ryan, senior vice president, Brand Management, The Walt Disney Company said, "Professionally and personally, Michelle is a true champion. While her magnificent artistry on the ice has been applauded the world over, she also sets the standard for grace and dignity, which truly accounts for her universal appeal. We at Disney are honored to be associated with Michelle and know that her unique style and commitment to quality will be enjoyed and appreciated by our audiences everywhere."
On March 4, 2006, Michelle was at Disney World for "ESPN the Weekend." Disney released a picture of Michelle
riding the newest Walt Disney World attraction, Expedition Everest.
They also released a picture of her with Mickey Mouse.
Update! On March 3 & 4, 2007, Michelle was at MGM Studios at Walt Disney World for "ESPN the Weekend." On Saturday, March 3, she did 3 events. The first was at 2pm on the main stage (by the Sorcerer's Hat) for "Conversation with Michelle Kwan", which was a Q&A with the audience. At 3:30, she was one of 3 celebrity judges for the "Dream Job Experience" at the
theater. At 4:15, she was at the
Sports Zone. On Sunday, March 4, at 2:30, she once again was one of 3 judges for the "Dream Job Experience." At 3:30pm, she did a Motorcade (same as the Q&A, but the athletes would drive to and from the stage in a car with a Disney character) on the main stage with Annika Sorenstam, Jim Palmer & Kurt Busch. I attended ESPN the Weekend on March 3.