Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Still Shining Bright

What: Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez is keeping in the public eye with some well-placed endorsements.
Why it matters: Hernandez is not just staying relevant during the quadrennial period between Olympic games, she is smartly aligning with brands that maintain her strong All-American image.

Laurie Hernandez (@lzhernandez02), who became one of the darlings of the 2016 Rio Olympics by taking home gold and silver medals in gymnastics at age 16, is in no hurry to get back on the mat. While she sorts her timing options for returning to action—now looking like 2019—the 5-foot pixie is making time to represent some well-selected, key organizations that are within her purvey and maintain her wholesome, All-American image. She even took a further star turn as the Dancing with the Stars (@DancingABC ‏) champion in 2016.

Just in the past couple of weeks, Hernandez has been featured in campaigns for gymnastics and dance gear leader Varsity Brands (@varsitybrands), for its School Spirit Awards, and the American Egg Board, in support of its "You're Incredible Because..." initiative.

Hernandez, who showed her media chops as she handled press interviews as flawlessly as her gymnastics routines, will serve as host of the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards, presented by Drillstack, televised on the CBS Sports Network on June 10 at 11 a.m. ET. She will be joined by "Live! With Kelly" co-host, Pennsylvania teacher Richard Curtis on the broadcast.

Looking at the sponsorship deals that Hernandez's team selected among the dozens proposed following her Rio success, her team has been executing a smart plan.

Varsity brands encompasses BSN Sports, Varsity Spirit and Herff Jones, three businesses supporting the student experience.

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credit: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

"Varsity Brands is honored to welcome Laurie Hernandez and Richard Curtis for this year's School Spirit Awards," said Jeff Webb, Founder and Chairman of Varsity Brands, in a statement. "Laurie and Richard have embraced school spirit in their lives and work every day to be involved in their communities—and inspire others to do the same."

In a different but equally family-friendly endorsement, the American Egg Board (@AmEggBoard) scooped up Hernandez to front its contest, which "is looking for kids engaging in social good projects in their schools and communities, excelling in sports or extra-curricular activities, raising money for those in need and more," according to contest info. By continuing this partnership, Hernandez keeps her name fresh in fans' minds, something that can be a challenge for Olympic athletes whose big moments come once every years.

"I'm excited to continue my partnership with the American Egg Board for this year's search for the next incredible kid," said Hernandez in a statement. "I personally understand how important it is to recognize children for their accomplishments, especially for the seemingly small actions that can lead to a big difference."

Looking at the sponsorship deals that Hernandez's team selected among the dozens proposed following her Rio success, her team has been executing a smart plan. From launching Obsess, JCPenney's body-positive girls clothing brand, to P&G's "Orgullosa" platform, empowering Latinas, to Florida Dairy Farmers appearances, the central New Jersey native is keeping her brand on the high road as she plans her return to the sport.

Check out the stars of Portada's Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

Cover Image: Courtesy Dave Kotinsky-Getty Images for American Egg Board

Jerry Milani @gbpackjerry

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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