Olympic silver medallists Paul and Gary O’Donovan are box office. They have a commercial agent who says yes and no to individual requests for their appearance and endorsement in a way neither could likely have imagined a mere three months ago.
That’s fair enough. They deserve to reap reward for their labour and their raising a smile at an Olympic Games where they were in short supply for Ireland for reasons away from the water, the ring or the track.
One of the deals to which a yes was granted was to Bord Bia and the lads were out and about yesterday encouraging people to ‘choose eggs as fuel for their busy lives’.
The brothers are both students, Paul of Physiotherapy and Gary of Marketing so he will understand the impact of telling people that they eat around 20 eggs a week as part of a protein rich diet.
They won’t come under any pressure for promoting fizzy drinks or booze though parents who’ve struggled to hold the line at one egg a day will likely not thank them for this promotion. They will forgive them though because they are just so likeable.
They were happy to talk to gathered media about everything from fame to Tokyo, studying to having crowds chant ‘pull like a dog’ on their first ever visit to the US to row down the Charles River in Boston.
They were a little less comfortable, briefly talking about doping in sport before bouncing back and saying sure it had nothing to do with them and wasn’t something they’d given much thought to.
The lads have a duty to their sport now, which sounds terribly formal but is one they wear lightly. Rowing ireland are out and about in schools and workplaces with programmes using stationery boats to get people into the rhythm of the sport. It’s easy to understand, Ireland has something of a strength in depth and its balance in terms of gender appeal and accesibility make it a winner on a number of fronts.
Bord Bia are converts and there is no doubt that eggs are a little cooler now because of an association with the O’Donovan’s.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
“Eggs have always been a key ingredient in our diet, not only for breakfast but also for lunch and dinner too,” said Paul.
“They are a proven source of high quality protein and essential amino acids which helps muscle tissue to repair itself, recover and grow after training. Its amazing that something so small can pack such a healthy punch,” he added.
That was enough of a line to crack a smile on the face of Teresa Brophy, Consumer and Trade Marketing Manager at Bord Bia.
“Egg sales have increased over the past year by 7% to nearly €120 million. This shows that more people are recognizing what a great choice eggs are for lunch and dinner,” she said.
The power of a sporting endorsement from the lads will doubtless help to nudge this numbers ahead again.