Top rewards for Miss Universe


Top rewards for Miss Universe, by Neil Shoebridge - 7th June 2004
(Credit: f2 / Financial Review)

Winning the Miss Universe contest last week has made Jennifer Hawkins, a 20-year-old model and former cheerleader from Newcastle, NSW, a hot product in marketing circles - and guaranteed her a healthy income for years to come.

Ms Hawkins will earn an estimated $150,000 over the next year as she performs her Miss Universe duties, such as promoting the competition and working with various charities.

A contract with a modelling agency owned by American property developer Donald Trump, who co-owns Miss Universe Organisation with the United States television network NBC, is also part of her prize.

With Ms Hawkins the first Australian to win a leading international beauty contest since 1972 - when Belinda Green was named Miss World and Kerry Wells won the Miss Universe competition - local marketers will race to sign her to advertising and sponsorship deals at the end of her 12-month deal with Miss Universe Organisation.

Celebrity manager and publicist Max Markson estimates that Ms Hawkins could earn about $500,000 in her first two years on the open market.

"If she remains fit and good looking after that, her earnings will remain high," Mr Markson said. "Belinda Green is still earning a good living on the back of her Miss World win and that was more than 30 years ago."

Mr Markson has represented Ms Green twice in recent years.

Other managers said Ms Hawkins - who is managed by Grant Dwyer from Adpro Management, which organises the local part of the Miss Universe competition - would be flooded with offers from companies in industries such as cosmetics and fashion.

Last week's contest was watched by an estimated 1.5 billion TV viewers in more than 180 countries. "Hawkins is now a global brand," said one manager. "If she is managed correctly, she could secure lucrative endorsement contracts in the United States and Europe."

NBC's broadcast of the competition had 10.5 million viewers. That was down from 12.1 million in 2003, but it was the top-rating program among people aged 18 to 49, the key target audience for the big American TV networks.

Seven Network showed the Miss Universe contest last Friday night, becoming the most successful Seven Network program against NRL and AFL football coverage this year in its first prime-time run for many years.

The contest pulled a peak audience of 1.14 million nationwide, with a 36 per cent share of 16-24s.

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