Mar 01, 2010 10:30 PM  By

Oriental Trading Co. has Entered into an Endorsement Agreement with former U.S. figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan for 2010. Kerrigan is the multichannel gifts and novelties merchant’s first-ever celebrity endorser.

The company said Kerrigan will participate in a variety of endorsement activities throughout the year. “We are still in the planning stages with the endorsement and will consider all media options, but nothing specific has yet been identified,” says Oriental Trading spokesperson Angie Drew.

Why Kerrigan? The merchant was a sponsor of an ice show in October and, as a result, executives got to meet Kerrigan. The catalog’s CEO, Sam Taylor, found out that she is a loyal Oriental Trading customer.

Though this is an Olympic year, and Kerrigan is a two-time Olympic medalist, that’s not the only reason the cataloger is working with her, Drew says.

“She is our core demographic — the busy, hands-on mom who uses for easy, value-priced party planning,” Drew says.

In a sad twist, Kerrigan had some tragic publicity of her own just as the deal with Oriental Trading was announced: Her father, Daniel, died on Jan. 24 after a struggle with his son Mark in their family home in Stoneham, MA. The death was ruled a homicide by a Massachusetts medical examiner last month.