I realize Huckleberry thinks Michael Phelps’ accomplishments are pedestrian, I disagree. But I also tend to follow the money. The sponsorship money says this is much bigger than that.
"What is the value of eight golds in Beijing before a prime-time audience in the U.S?" asked Peter Carlisle (Phelps’ marketing agent), "I'd say $100 million over the course of his lifetime."
"It's an aggressive number put out there by an aggressive agent," says Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon in Eugene. "But also eight gold medals was an aggressive number. Not a good idea to bet against the man right now."
Mr. Phelps in recent days became the most searched name on Facebook surpassing teen singer Miley Cyrus and other celebrities.
Big with the pre-teens, tweens, and teenagers? Check.
Jeff Diskin, senior vice president for brand management at Hilton Hotels said, "What he has done here will enable us to get our message out with a much bigger reach."
Global hotel chain? Check.
Stephen Urquhart, chief executive officer of Bienne, Switzerland-based Omega, says, "He's a world legend now."
Watch maker? Check.
"Michael Phelps would be worth $40 or $50 million to Nike," Howard Bloom, who teaches sports management at Algonquin College in Ottawa said. Algonquin College, really? I guess the University of Phoenix sports professor was unavailable.
"He could literally allow them to launch a massive swimwear company, and I think you are going to see an incredible bidding war for him."
300 pound gorilla in sports apparel? Probably, assuming he dumps Speedo.
His other current sponsors are VISA, PowerBar, AT&T, Kellogg, Rosetta Stone, PureSport, and SwimRoom.com according to the AP.
My list of other sponsorship targets includes:
Gillette Razor Blades
Nair Hair Removal
Noxema Shaving Cream