Sports Business Daily
When U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas slings herself around the uneven bars, launches into the air and lands upright on the mat during Friday’s women’s individual all-around competition, the cameras will show her support team — her coach, her mother and her family. But they’ll miss one person.
The London Games are Shade’s fifth Olympics, and Douglas is the latest in series of star gymnasts she has represented. Since 1996, she has worked with Dominique Moceanu, Shannon Miller, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson and others.
Along the way she has developed a reputation as an expert at connecting with gymnasts, who are typically young, understanding their marketing potential and helping secure the right opportunities for them.
“She’s like a mom to me now,” said Shawn Johnson, who signed with Shade when she was 14 and turned pro. “She’s given me the opportunity to do everything, to have a voice and have my story shared.”
Shade, a Duke graduate, began with gymnasts after receiving a cold call in 1996. She was working with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who is still a client, and was named to Ad Age’s “Marketing 100” list for the year because of her work on Burns’ “Baseball” documentary.