Skater Gets Sweet Treats at Luncheon

Naperville native and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek has achieved many of his dreams—that goes without saying.

But in the midst of Friday’s luncheon with the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, he had another dream fulfilled, when Chicago-based Eli’s Cheesecake presented him with a 250-pound version of his “driving force,” Eli’s Snickers Cheesecake. The delectable delight took five days to bake and decorate, and Lysacek made the first cut, but not with a knife. He cut the massive dessert with a skate blade.

That was just the beginning of the honors showered on the Olympic champion at White Eagle Golf Club. Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel read a lengthy proclamation declaring March 26, 2010 “Evan Lysacek Day,” while many other Naperville-based politicians presented Evan’s with certificates and honors.

The 24-year-old then got some more jewelry to add to his collection. Greg Boswell from the OC Tanner Recognition Company presented Lysacek with his Olympic gold ring. The Chicago-based company has made rings for every US Olympic athlete since 2000, and Lysacek’s was extra special, with the words “gold medalist” inscribed into opposite sides of the ring.

After getting showered with many more gifts and signing countless autographs, the Olympian was on his way to the next event for “Evan Lysacek Day,” but the conversation about the skater was not over.

With many business leaders in attendance at the luncheon, the discussion transitioned to the idea of marketing and branding. Following the lead of other Olympic athletes like swimmer Michael Phelps and speed skater Apolo Ohno, Lysacek has set himself up for many branding opportunities following his gold medal, starting by appearing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Jini Clare is a marketing expert and owner of Clare Communications. She looks to branding as an essential for an athlete like Lysacek.

“It’s very important,” Clare said. “You need to have a consistency of what you say, what you represent and how you represent visually.”

According to Clare, Naperville’s newest favorite son has done it right.
“He’s done a beautiful job,” Clare stated. “I think he’s really genuine, he’s down to earth, I think he seems to be real, he is what he seems to be and I think that’s very important.”

So once Lysacek goes from skating and into business and beyond, he looks like he’s set up for success.

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