Olympics 2010: The Gear That's Winning

Which companies stand to gain the biggest marketing boost from these Winter Games?
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Which companies stand to gain the biggest marketing boost from these Winter Games?
Olympic Medalist Bode Miller

Can Head sell more skis because of Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller? The answer is yes…in Europe, at least. Americans—unless they’re avid racers—are typically unswayed by who skis what on the World Cup. Europeans, by contrast, are keenly aware. But the Olympics are different, and even in America, it can’t hurt Head to have all those Head skis and boots on the podium.

When a top racer switches gear sponsors, as Vonn did, going from Rossignol to Head last year, it’s big news—and often big money, with six-figure endorsement contracts for the superstars. “Victory schedules”—performance bonuses tied to results—can push the payoffs even higher. A good Olympics can cost your brand a fortune.

Manufacturers take big risks betting on who they think will perform and what they’re worth. So, which companies stand to gain the biggest marketing boost from these Winter Games? Atomic came on strong in the men's slalom, with an all-Atomic podium that brought their total to six. But Head, with Vonn and Miller raking in the medals, remains on top, with eleven.  Rossi and Stoeckli have five medals each. Here’s a look at the Olympic podium results by manufacturer.