Article in February 10, 2000 issue of Cleveland Plain Dealer
A smiling Michelle Kwan and Chevrolet announced a five-year endorsement deal yesterday that is estimated to be worth $1 million.
Kwan, who made the announcement at Gund Arena, is in Cleveland for the 2000 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Her deal with Chevrolet placed her among the top 10 of the nation's "most appealing personality athlete endorsers," according to Bob Williams, president of Burns Sports in Chicago, whose company matches athletes with advertisers. He put Kwan's deal in the million-dollar category.
Kwan, 19 and a freshman at the University of California at Los Angeles, came in second in the 1998 Olympics and is a favorite for gold in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. She has what Chevrolet calls one of its most expansive partnerships ever. It will integrate advertising, marketing and promotional activities.
"We expect her to capture the attention of the world of ice skaters, their families and those who admire skating," said James D. Jandasek, director of auto advertising and promotion at Chevrolet in Detroit. "We have had success with other sports figures."
Chevrolet chooses to partner with people who not only are successful but who also serve as good role models, Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet general manager, said in a written statement. He added that Kwan "is one of the best female athletes competing today."
Kwan is no stranger to endorsements. She has appeared in ads for such products as Campbell's Soup, United Airlines, Yoplait yogurt and Caress soap.