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General Mills should feature Caitlyn Jenner on Wheaties box

Since becoming a gold medalist in the 1976 Olympic Games, Bruce Jenner has been hailed as an American hero. Setting a world record in the decathlon nearly 40 years ago, Jenner soon became one of hundreds of athletes to grace the front of a box of Wheaties, but only one of seven to become a Wheaties spokesperson.

With the introduction of Caitlyn Jenner, many consumers are looking to General Mills for its next move, wondering if Caitlyn will also be featured on the box. Twitter has been buzzing about the subject since Caitlyn came out in a Vanity Fair article on Monday. A lot has changed since Jenner was initially on the box, including the addition of an entirely new kind of fame: reality TV. In the years since Jenner's record-breaking decathlon, the celebrity has made a global impact, largely because of involvement with the consistent headline makers, the Kardashian clan.


The cover of the New York Post showing Vanity Fair magazine with Caitlyn Jenner
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
The cover of the New York Post showing Vanity Fair magazine with Caitlyn Jenner

While our world is changing and it's been awhile since Jenner was recognized as an athlete, Caitlyn is still the athlete we once knew. No matter her gender, Jenner remains the athlete that was famous for winning Olympic gold; the same athlete that once graced the front of the Wheaties box. But she is now famous for so much more. Her personal decisions have not impacted her past as an Olympian, and with that in mind, General Mills would be smart to stand by its slogan as "The Breakfast of Champions," because Caitlyn is now a champion in more ways than one.

From a marketing standpoint, there is a huge benefit to Wheaties if they should choose to put Caitlyn on the box. Wheaties is poised to appeal to a new millennial audience, one that is more accepting than the generations that came before them, and stands to gain quite a bit in terms of corporate responsibility by acknowledging that as one of very few spokespeople for the brand, Jenner's personal choices in her appearance don't take away from her past accomplishments.

Read MoreVanity Fair reveals first look at Caitlyn Jenner

General Mills could decline because it has been so long since Jenner has been recognized by the public for accomplishments as an athlete. However, to take advantage of the buzz, General Mills could feature Jenner in a now and then box. The Wheaties brand has brought back athletes before, celebrating its 75th anniversary by featuring past champions on boxes. If the brand were to do something similar again, it would be making a huge mistake by not including Caitlyn.

Wheaties features athletic champions on its boxes to depict a healthy lifestyle, one that consumers buying the product can aspire to. It may be time to expand those recognized on the box to include athletes that don't fit the stereotypical mold, and let consumers admire champions that are known for more than their athletic achievements.

Commentary by Shawn Prez, CEO of Power Moves Inc., a grass-roots marketing firm that has connected brands with consumers for more than 15 years. Follow @powermovesinc on Twitter.