Natalie Coughlin is the face, name, body of O'Neill's 365 clothing line. Natalie who? If you don't know who she is now, you should know who she is within a year as the London Summer Olympic take off. Natalie is the most decorated female swimmer who has 19 medals to her name. She is also an avid surfer and loves to travel.
But, if you were launching a brand would you do it with someone with a limited seasonality to summer thats's really only visible every 4 years? Sure, O'Neill will be able to play up this endorsement deal leadin up to the Olympics, but I don't think her name is enough to bank entire line extension on. Again, who is Natalie Coughlin? You ask that question right now, at this moment and I bet that WELL over half will look at you with a confused face. Female celebrity athlete are HARD TO COME BY, but this is a stretch. What about Amanda Beard, or the countless tennis female athlete? Danica Patrick? Michelle Wie? They have much more visibility year round.
This is not to say that I don't believe in Olympic Endoresemnt Deals. I do. A lot. However, if I were launching a brand I would look for a name, a face, a media constant that would create a connection with a brand. If O'Neill is lunching 365 for use every four years, then they've got a winner for the next two. If they want to make it a lasting brand, they've got to start over.