Shawn Johnson on Fashion... Philip Bloch's TV Gig....

Shawn Johnson is poised to become a household name.

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Shawn Johnson

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SHAWN JOHNSON ON FASHION: Shawn Johnson is poised to become a household name. The pint-size gymnast has sponsorship deals with Coke, Adidas and McDonald’s — and she scored all of them before she won an Olympic gold medal. “I have been recognized a lot more here and it’s been great,” the 16-year-old Johnson said Thursday in Beijing. Making an appearance at Coke’s fan zone, Johnson received a “Live Positively” award from her beverage sponsor for her work assisting with flood relief in Iowa.

The move highlights just why the gymnast is a marketer’s dream. “I tell you it’s that personality,” said Petro Kacur, senior communications manager for Coca-Cola.

For now, Johnson is focusing on her position as a role model. “Really the only thing I want to do is go out there and show the world and little kids that you can succeed in some of the toughest sports in the world, and toughest things in the world, if you only follow your heart,” she said, adding that she’s also looking forward to college in a couple of years. Attending Stanford University is her biggest goal.

Off the mats, Johnson likes to be different. She is “addicted to True Religion jeans,” and loves quirky and unique pieces, citing Ed Hardy as one of her favorite designers. Being smaller than the average American, Shawn confessed to a preference for heels. But true to her coach’s orders, she’s stayed off them in the lead-up to the Olympics. With the competition behind her, she wore a pair of 3-inch silver peep-toes to Thursday’s event, occasionally flicking them off when she got tired. “It’s actually the first time I’ve worn heels in, like, five months, so it feels a little weird,” she laughed. “But I love heels. They make me feel a little more confident.”
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