My cousin lives in Vail and goes to Battle Mountain H.S. The other night Lindsey Vonn visited her school to give a talk. At the end of the talk, my cousins friend Parker got the courage to ask Lindsey to homecoming . . . and she said yes.
Today, the story is all over the place. It’s been picked up by the NY Times, Huffington Post, Yahoo Sports and more. Run a search for “Lindsey Vonn and homecoming” and you’ll get 3 million results. I’m sure they aren’t all about her going to homecoming with a 15 year old H.S. boy, but the first 5 pages are.
Lindsey is an a Olympic Gold Medalist Skier. She is a repeat World Cup Champion. She is one of the winningest female skiers in history, but she doesn’t make her money from skiing. Lindsey, like most athletes makes her money through sponsorships. The key to sponsorships is public perception. The more the public likes you, the more value you have to sponsors. And, Lindsey gets this.
I’ve never met Lindsey personally, but I have been to events where she was the host. She’s signed my daughters helmets and posters. Lindsey is a personable, engaging, friendly celebrity and it’s working for her. By agreeing to go to homecoming with Parker, Lindsey’s name is all over the news. It’s phenomenal publicity. I don’t think Lindsey was thinking about publicity when she said yes, but I do think Lindsey knows being nice, going the extra mile and putting your fans first pays.
With all the money celebrities and companies pay these days to get exposure, they all could learn a lesson from Lindsey. Stop trying so hard and just be real.
One other thing. Recruiters, put Parker McDonald on your recruiting list. Any kid who has the gumption and skills to get one of the greatest skiers in the world to go with him to the homecoming dance, is a talent.
Way to go Parker. I can’t wait to see the pictures!
- Lindsay Vonn accepts homecoming dance invite (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
- Coolest Story About an Olympian and a 15-year Old Without a Date (bonjupatten.wordpress.com)