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Lindsey Races Against Overexposure

Lindsey Races Against Overexposure

[ March 11, 2010 - 4:45pm ]
by Jennifer Davis
lindsey, red bull hat
Could Lindsey Vonn be the new face of professional sports? And she's not done for the season: Though Vonn crashed in today's GS race in Germany, she could win her record third-straight overall World Cup title with a top-seven finish in Friday's super G.

Unless you are a ski racing fan, chances are you had never even heard of Lindsey Vonn until two months ago. Today, as Lindsey’s stylish, well-coifed marketing machine rolls across network airtime, other Olympians can only hold up their hands in surrender. After she won two medals at the Vancouver Games, Vonn has all the big guns lined up: Red Bull, Proctor and Gamble, Under Armour, Sega, Head, Rolex, Vail Resort, and plenty more to come. (And she's not done. Vonn went out in the first run today in the World Cup giant slalom in Garmisch, Germany, while Maria Riesch placed third, narrowing the gap in the chase between the two friends—and rivals—for the women's overall World Cup title. Vonn needs a top-seven finish in Friday's super G to capture her third consecutive overall World Cup title—a record for an American racer.) 

Post-race or on the podium, Vonn is rarely photographed without her ubiquitous Red Bull knit hat. Red Bull, producer of the eponymous Energy Drink—the favorite beverage of long-haul truckers and club kids—has just launched a new campaign to appeal to the tech-savvy crowd. To watch the commercial, you’ll need a case of Red Bull, an internet connection, and a web cam. Go to www.RedBull6Pack.com, hold up your case in front of the web cam and voila—Lindsey comes to life. She skis, she trains, she smiles, and, most importantly, she wins…all—it seems—thanks to Red Bull.

Off the slopes, Vonn is capitalizing on her newfound celebrity by endorsing everything from Alka Seltzer cold medicine to upscale Rolex watches, playing upon her universal appeal to the masses. Vonn's image is the consummate girl-next-door, the Jennifer Aniston of athletes: sexy but non-threatening, self-confident but never smug, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model who “tries to ski like a guy.” 

We’ll probably be seeing a lot of Vonn, clothed or unclothed, in the months to come.