Paola Espinosa, the Mexican diver, was the highest paid Mexican athlete that took part in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Her training since 2001 to date has cost Conade 7.9 million MXN, but her return on this investment has been more than worthwhile.
Paola Espinosa has reached dizzying heights of success, not only through winning medals but also for what she has built in terms of her brand and image. The numbers speak for themselves. Over the past 4 years of the last Olympic cycle that recently ended in Rio, she has generated sales in excess of $250,000 Dollars according to figures obtained from international consultants.
The diver whose specialty is the 10m springboard event is renowned to be strong willed, a perfectionist and vane but these are not defects, they are the qualities that have made her one of the best sports personalities in the world. She wasn´t always like this however. Her Chinese coach MaJin once took her by the arm and told her. “I don´t ever want you to tell me that you can´t do it!”
Of course, Paola, the best Mexican athlete for the past decade has fears but she confronts them. And that has not gone unnoticed by her sponsors. She is one of the highest revenue generating Olympians that México has ever produced.
Paola & Nike
The David Brown Celebrity Index (DBI, a tool used by sports marketeer to measure the publics perceptions within 15 markets including Mexico) analyses an athlete’s ability to influence a country, their national image, the level of confidence and inspiration they generate for others and their strength of association with brands and their impact on the media. Paola has been successful on all counts most notably her social networks have nearly 400,000 followers.
How much can an Olympic athlete, brands or TV networks generate? Ana Gabriela Guevara – who more than a decade ago brought Mexican cities to a standstill to watch her 400m races – said in 2008: “Thanks to me, Televisa made 45 million US Dollars from exploiting my image but I didn´t even get 1% after we split.”
Paola´s long term contracts date back to 2011 with Nike International and Gatorade México. She divides her business partners into two groups. Sponsors and commercial partners. Nike International, Gatorade México and Farmacias Similares are her long term sponsors dating back to 2011. Swarovski, Sport City/Grupo Martí are her commercial partners.
Another interesting calculation is how many hours of work and training equal winning an Olympic medal? The answer is 9,600 hours. That is the total time that Paola Espinosa has dedicated over the last 4 years. She won bronze in Beijing 2008, silver in 2012, and she also won the world title at Barcelona in 2009. In total she has won 33 medals between Olympics, World Championships and the Centro, Pan-American and University Games.