Zimmerman Inks Hamm for Vitamin Shoppe

ATLANTA The Vitamin Shoppe said it has signed soccer star Mia Hamm to a three-year contract to appear in the company’s advertising.

It is the first time the North Bergen, N.J., company has used a celebrity to promote its line of vitamins and dietary and beauty products.

The company hired Omnicom Group’s Zimmerman & Partners in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to handle its creative and media planning, estimated at $20 million, last year without a review. Previously, the firm produced all its advertising internally. Zimmerman secured the agreement with Hamm.

Hamm became widely known during the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta by leading the U.S. women’s soccer team to a gold medal. She also was instrumental in the American squad winning the 1999 World Cup in soccer.

“Mia is a remarkable icon that shares a similar sense of values with our company—integrity, determination and healthy living,” said Tom Tolworthy, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe. “As an inspiration for so many people worldwide, she’ll bring a new level of awareness not only to The Vitamin Shoppe but to the importance of following an essential health and wellness program.”

Hamm already is appearing in some promotional pieces for the client, but national print and television ads that feature her will launch early next year.

“This campaign focuses less on which vitamins and nutritional supplements customers take but more on why they take them,” said Michael Goldberg, chief marketing officer at Zimmerman.