Whoever thought jumping into a pool could net you $100 million over your lifetime? I'm sure not Michael Phelps.
As one of the most recognizable Olympians in the world, the image of him with a bong in 2009 hasn't deterred companies from wanting him as the face of their products. Phelps' initial sponsorship in 2002 was with Speedo, but since his record-setting eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, he's managed to plunge into another 10 endorsements. (Seems that his agent, Peter Carlisle, might not be too far off from his $100 million prediction four years ago!)
Even his mom, Debbie Phelps, has gotten in on the action, having earned somewhere in the low six figures for her stint as the face of Chico's in 2008, according to New York magazine. (If anyone saw her this year in London, though her endorsement deal has ended, she was still rockin' her fave brand.)
Forbes recently reported that while Phelps is huge in the U.S., his brand power may be even stronger internationally. He's earned at least $5 million annually since getting his feet wet in Beijing, and with companies like Proctor and Gamble using his mug to plug products in more than 200 countries, he won't be swimming away from the advertising limelight as he retires from the sport.
And those deals were before his all-time, record-setting 22 Olympic medals. It's likely more companies will be vying for his seal of approval now more than ever.
So while the pool may be closed for Phelps, his wallet is definitely open.
Would you be more likely to buy something if Michael Phelps was endorsing it?