Laurie Hernandez is the first Latina gymnast to participate in the Olympics since Cuban-American Annia Hatch in 2004.
Laurie Hernandez’s agent revealed that her phone has been ringing none stop since the 16-year-old gymnast won the silver medal on the balance beam on Monday with major brands wanting to partner with the young girl.
“I probably heard from 10 major, Fortune 100 companies as soon as she did it,” said Sheryl Shade of Shade Global told Quartz earlier this week. “They were paying attention.”
It looks like one of those calls has panned out because Hernandez just got her first big endorsement deal with Procter & Gamble. She is the new Crest and Orgullosa ambassador.
“My motto in life is to embrace every moment. This is such an exciting time for me and I’m so proud, Orgullosa, to be a Crest athlete,” Hernandez said in a statement.
Hernandez’s mother, Wanda Hernandez, also joined the “Thank You Mom” campaign that has been ongoing throughout the Olympic season.
The teenager, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is the first U.S. born Latina to be on the Olympic gymnastics team since 1984. She is also the youngest of the Final Five, who won the team gold medal in Brazil last week.
“When you’re given the opportunity of a lifetime to perform on the world’s biggest stage, smiling with confidence for your family and supporters is part of every routine,” she added in her statement. “As I prep for the competition, I always count on Crest products to keep my smile radiant and flawless on and off the mat."
Crest’s Orgullosa campaign is an online platform that was created to celebrate and empower Latinas. The initiative, which uses the Spanish word for “proud” as its title, will look to spotlight personal stories of the Hernandez family and the pride in their culture, traditions, and family.
Procter and Gamble said they selected Hernandez as their newest ambassador because she represents a new wave of Latinas who are reshaping the face of America with orgullo (pride).
“Olympian Laurie Hernandez has inspired people around the world through her talent, personality and amazing smile. We welcome Laurie to the P&G family and we’re so proud to support her as a role model for the strength and power of Latinas and their families,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G Chief Brand Officer, in a statement.
Shade acknowledged that the gymnast has a strong (and growing) fan base within the Hispanic community in United States.
She told Quarks that they will look to tap into Hernandez’s growing fame, not unlike other breakout Olympic stars, and keep her in the public eye through the end of the year.
“After a big Olympics like this, for any athlete, those first few months you’ve got to let them put their hair down a bit and enjoy all that’s out there,” said Shade.
After the Olympics, Hernandez’s goal is to qualify for the world gymnastics championships next year. In 2020, she hopes to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team again.