Appearing on a Wheaties box isn't necessarily lucrative
There is perhaps no more iconic athlete endorsement than being selected to grace the front of a Wheaties box, and there's a long history of Olympians getting the honor, dating back to the company's first spokesperson, Bob Richards, a pole-vaulting gold medalist in the 1952 and 1956 Games. Many others have followed, from Mary Lou Retton to Caitlyn Jenner to Jackie Joyner-Kersee. But because of the prestige associated with being chosen for a Wheaties box, they can reportedly get away with paying meager amounts to athletes. (To quote: "think thousands, not millions.") In 1998, figure skater Tara Lipinski agreed to an offer for $15,000 to appear on a box, though the cereal-maker ultimately chose not to use her. That same year, the gold medal-winning US women's hockey team reportedly received no money at all for gracing the box.