Hair is a huge deal for swimmers. Especially elite swimmers, who spend enough time in the water that their hair becomes dry and dread-locked regardless of how many products they use.
That’s why it’s no surprise that one of the big endorsement focuses for swimmers in this Olympic year is shampoo (along with suits and food, two other things that swimmers spend a good deal of time with).
First came Michael Phelps’ deal with Proctor & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders shampoo, and now Natalie Coughlin has signed a deal to endorse the same company’s Pantene line.
Perhaps it’s a surprise that these endorsements are only coming on now, as there’s hoards of young swimmers who are constantly looking for ways to cover up chlorine damage without going all-out for the expensive salon brands. The marketing scheme is really genious – they’ve marked the two swimmers who have to spend a ton of time in these chemicals that ruin their hair, but they also make enough public appearances that they have to maintain marketbale manes.
Head & Shoulders is the bigger of the two brands with just over a billion dollars in sales annualy (as compared to around $90 million for Pantene), but Pantene seems to appeal to a more selective demographic. While H&S got the biggest name in Phelps, perhaps Natalie’s longer hair will give her bigger pull in the shampoo industry.