Good People Do Still Win
The story of 2-time Olympic aerial skier Emily Cook is pretty closely mimicked by the heights and depths she reaches on the countless ski jumps she has performed tricks on for years now. The difference is no matter what depths Emily has faced, her desire to reach her dreams can never be held down for long. Emily’s biggest dream of reaching the Olympics almost died when she badly injured both feet in a skiing accident just weeks before the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She was forced to watch the Olympic aerial events from a wheelchair which were being held in her hometown of Park City, Utah. She rehabilitated for several years before returning to competition in 2005 at the World Championships, performing well and earning her a spot on the United States Winter Olympics Team in 2006 in Italy.
Emily is now not only the #1 Women’s aerial skier in the United States and 2nd in the world to China’s Xu Mengtao, but also has 9 podium appearances at the World Championships. A scrolling look at her Twitter feed followed by over 5,300 people would find the smiling faces of students around the nation in pictures Emily has posted as a part of her work with the Classroom Champions Organization’s campaign for children in high-need schools. Among other tweets are pictures of her training, giving her follows a front row seat to her daily routines. Transparency is a great attribute in our world driven by social media where people love to get as close to their favorite athletes as they can. Even better is when the public is exposed to a positive role model they want to support and endorse, which could only reflect positively on the companies that feature them as a spokesperson. In today’s market, companies must be weary of potentially bad publicity a spokesperson could bring, and they need a spokesperson that not only embodies their core values but acts as a positive role model for the public.
It seems some sponsors and endorsers can become mesmerized by the glamour of popularity whether that popularity is based on positive attributes or not, but there is something to be said for the market of top-performing athletes with even better personalities. Emily was recently signed on as a member of the Core Power team, who was named the official protein drink of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Emily also hopes to be a leading competitor on the women’s Olympic freestyle team that will travel to the Sochi Games. Her mentoring program she created with Visa titled the Visa Champions Creating Champions program has lead her into the world of speaking engagements for top companies off the slopes. It seems that there still is a market for spokespeople who embody positive character traits other than just their success in their field or industry, and it’s probably a market in which most companies should place importance if not already.