Two-Sport Star Bloom to Promote Gym


Boulder, CO Feb. 3, 2003 (AP) --Two-sport star Jeremy Bloom reached an advertising deal with a national fitness club chain two weeks after challenging the NCAA's rules on endorsement money.

The Colorado receiver and amateur skier will be featured in an Equinox Fitness Club campaign that is expected to include billboards in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and ads in prominent magazines.

For the past two years, Bloom has played football for Colorado while competing on the World Cup moguls ski circuit with the goal of competing in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. NCAA rules prevent him from accepting endorsement money while playing football. Bloom last month said he needed money to continue his ski training and would begin to sign endorsement deals. He said the NCAA would have to declare him ineligible to play football to stop him. The NCAA has given no timetable on when it may issue a ruling.

``I was dead set from the get-go to have Jeremy in the campaign,'' David Lipman, who designed the Equinox ad campaign, said this week. ``We didn't want people with a persona bigger than the brand, but we wanted people whose body said, 'fitness.'''

Bloom has estimated he will need up to $100,000 a year for ski coaching, training and travel. He knows accepting endorsements puts his football career in jeopardy.

``I have never been a quitter and I would never turn my back on the CU football program or my teammates,'' he said. ``I want everyone to know that I will not willingly leave college football. If the NCAA truly cares about student-athletes, then there is no reason why they should attempt to stand in my way of winning a gold medal for our country,'' he added. ``If they don't, they will have to kick me out.''