Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Marketing Caitlyn Jenner

June 8, 2015

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Via Vanity Fair.

Olympian Bruce Jenner’s decision to transition from male and female, and become known as Caitlyn Jenner is a multi-faceted story. And one of the biggest aspects is Jenner’s new marketing potential.

Jenner has already scored three of the most coveted features that any celebrity can hope for: a cover on Vanity Fair, an exclusive network interview and a television reality show. The TV interview, conducted by Diane Sawyer on ABC before Jenner’s first appearance as a woman, was viewed by 17 million people.

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter said last week the magazine knew the cover would be a sensation, but the reaction surpassed even his expectations. The magazine made a conscious choice to promote its interview on the Web, he told the Associated Press.

It released the cover across social media, then made the cover story available as a download on iTunes for $4.99.

Meanwhile, Jenner recorded the fasted trajectory of any celebrity to 1 million followers on Twitter,  and now has 2.4 million followers there, plus 1.3 million on Instagram. Time says there were more than 10 million searches on Google last week for the term “Caitlyn Jenner.”

Jenner stands to make millions of dollars for herself and others if she decides to further leverage her fame, Dan Schwabel, the author of Me 2.0 and Promote Yourself, told People Magazine.

Here are some ways Jenner can cash in:

Speaking fees.

Jenner already was a veteran motivational speaker. Now, an entirely new series of audiences may want to hear her speak, and Schwabel says her speakers’ fees will rise as a result.

Endorsements.

Jenner’s new agent, according to People, is Jeff Frasco at CAA, who also represents Carrie Underwood and David Beckham. Frasco negotiated the $250 million deal that brought Beckham to Los Angeles to play with the Galaxy soccer team.

While Jenner’s athletic days are behind her, CAA is expected to handle public appearances. Marketers will be paying close attention to how audiences react to Jenner, and endorsements are likely to follow.

Philanthropy.

People says Jenner is developing a philanthropic strategy aimed at benefiting the LGBTQ community, with advice from the CAA Foundation.

There are some analysts who feel Jenner will be tied, at least for now, with the marketing of the Kardashian family, including her two daughters, Kendall and Kylie.

Jenner told Vanity Fair she is aware that some see her transition as an elaborate publicity stunt.

“I’m not doing it for money,” she told the magazine. “I’m doing it for my soul and to help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid … I will never make an excuse for something like that.”

As the Jenner story continues, keep an eye on the choices of news outlets and products that Jenner aligns with. Her saga is likely to be news wherever she travels and makes public appearances.

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