Three of Britain’s star cyclists hoping to get among the medals at London 2012 – Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Mark Cavendish – have been signed up as brand ambassadors by Olympic sponsor and consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Along with eight other athletes from different sports, the trio have each been chosen as ambassador for a specific P&G brand that they will represent throughout 2012.
So, you ask, who got what?
Well, Hoy joins global superstars such as Roger Federer and Thierry Henry in plugging razor brand Gillette – a natural fit for a cyclist, given it’s not just the face that gets shaved.
Pendleton, meanwhile, will represent Pantene, which as any stand-up comedian worth their salt knows is the price a Cockney pays for their shampoo.
Cavendish also gets a shampoo brand, but in his case it’s Head & Shoulders. We’re assuming that reflects his domination of his sprint rivals, rather than referring to any dandruff-related problems.
However, given the predominantly white colour of the HTC-Highroad kit he’s worn these past few seasons as well as the rainbow jersey he’ll be sporting next year with Team Sky, it’s difficult to tell.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Hoy said: “Gillette has a fantastic heritage in sport and I’m delighted to be a part of that. Next year will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with Gillette.”
Pendleton added: “I've used Pantene since I was a little girl so I am thrilled to be the Pantene ambassador in 2012.”
P&G has also launched a ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign aimed at supporting the ‘Mums of Team GB’ in the build-up to London 2012 and during the Games.
As part of that, it will be making sure that the mother of every British athlete competing at the Olympics or Paralympics gets a ticket to see their son or daughter compete.
Irwin Lee, P&G UK Vice-President and Managing Director, said: “We’re very excited to welcome to the P&G family an impressive line-up of athletes who will help us celebrate the London 2012 Games and the role that Mums and families play in raising great kids and great champions.
"We are delighted to be part of the Olympic movement and to support Team GB and their families here in the UK.”
He added: “Each of these athletes is leading the way in their individual fields and embody the values of leadership, integrity and passion for winning that we set for ourselves and our brands at P&G.”
The other athletes involved in the sponsorship, plus the brands they will represent, are Jessica Ennis (athletics – Olay), Jeanette Kwakye (athletics – Ariel), Keri-Anne Payne (open water swimming – Max Factor and Oral-B), Jenna Randall (synchronised swimming – Braun Female), Ben Rushgrove and Sophia Warner (both Paralympic athletics – P&G), and Liam Tancock (swimming – Gillette).
Spare a thought for poor Paula Radcliffe though, famously caught short on her way to winning the 2005 London Marathon in an incident captured by the TV cameras. She’s been chosen to represent not only the washing-up liquid brand, Fairy, but also, in news that’s likely to have the sniggerometer ticking up towards 11, the nappy brand Pampers.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.