Channel: Oh No They Didn't!
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 143930

Endorsement Deals Start To Pour In For The Dolphin King


The swimmer’s agent says 50-plus companies have expressed interest. Michael Phelps is close to announcing two new partnerships with companies that are not Olympic sponsors, according to his agent.

Peter Carlisle, managing director of Olympics and action sports for Octagon, declined to identify the companies, citing confidentiality agreements, but he said the deals were expected to be announced in the next week or so. Louis Vuitton last week unveiled two images featuring Phelps, including one of him with former Russian gymnastic medalist Larisa Latynina, though no deal with that company had been officially announced as of press time.


Michael Phelps is NOT in hot water as a result of posing in his Speedo for luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton.
 The photo featuring Phelps in a bathtub, snapped by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, was leaked online during the London games earlier this month. A major no-no. According to the Olympics' Rule 40, athletes are prohibited from appearing in unapproved ads in order to protect corporate sponsors before, during and shortly after the games.

The image was quickly denied as being part of Vuitton's ad campaign. And it was not officially released by the luxury house until Aug. 16, the day after Rule 40 stopped applying.

Questions followed about whether an un-attributed leakage constituted a violation of the much-talked-about Rule 40; U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky maintains that Phelps remains in compliance because he did not authorize the early release of the photos.

Phelps’ agent, Peter Carlisle, also dismissed any suggestion that Phelps had violated the rule, tweeting: "Rule 40 applies to athletes who permit use of their name during the Games; it doesn't apply to unauthorized uses (which, unfortunately, are common).”

Louis Vuitton’s reps have told media outlets the company was not responsible for the leak. Leibovitz’s agent said the same thing.

But if it wasn't Phelps, which is highly unlikely since he and his camp certainly are familiar with Rule 40, and if it wasn't Vuitton or Leibowitz ... then who was it? Most likely to gain from the early release is LV, whose brand name was linked to the Olympian in traffic-getting headlines such as "Michael Phelps Strips Down for Louis Vuitton" on Aug. 13, while people were still obsessively watching the events in London.

Rule 40 was also subjected to social media ridicule during the games when track and field competitiors tweeted their displeasure, using the hash tags #rule40 and #wedemandchange.

Middle distance runner Leo Manzano wrote on his Facebook page that he’d been forced to take down comments on his running shoes because of the rule. Relay Olympian Manteo Mitchell, who became a hero for completing his race with a broken fibula, expressed his opposition via Twitter: "I am PROUD to represent my Country... but at the end of the day... THIS IS MY JOB!!!!!!"

Both Manzano and Mitchell are sponsored by Nike. But Adidas sponsored the London games.

You can see more of Phelps' involvement with Vuitton on the label's website. Since Phelps seems to have successfully gotten around Rule 40, we wonder if more athletes will try the "unauthorized" and/or "leaked" product photo route during the next Olympic Games.

How do you feel about Rule 40? Is it unfair to the athletes? Or is it smart to protect the corporate sponsors who spend millions to make the games possible?


OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps addressed the Baltimore Ravens on Monday at the team's headquarters, offering encouragement as they wind down the preseason.

Coach John Harbuagh said the 27-year-old's message was simple: "Go get 'em."

Phelps, a Maryland native, won six medals in London to become the most-decorated Olympian ever.

Asked to note comparisons between Phelps' last four years and the Ravens' last four years, in which they have reached the playoffs each season but failed to win the big one, Harbaugh said, "I wish I was smart enough to draw that parallel right now... I'll let you do that."

Here goes:

• Phelps left the Beijing Olympics with eight gold medals, but spent the next four years in a sometimes-losing battle with rival Ryan Lochte. The Ravens are a constant AFC favorite, but ever since Harbaugh showed up in 2008, have a 1-3 record vs. the New England Patriots.

• Michael Phelps once had a pretty awful mustache. So did Joe Flacco.

• In 2009, a photo emerged of Michael Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong. Ricky Williams took numerous hits playing running back for the Ravens in 2011.

Okay, maybe we're stretching it. But you get the point. The Ravens are trying to get over the hump and win a title or two, and there are probably few athletes with more experience in that department than Mr. Phelps. Gotta wonder if his pregame speeches would be anything like Ray Lewis delivers.


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 143930

Latest Images

Trending Articles

Latest Images

<script src="https://jsc.adskeeper.com/r/s/rssing.com.1596347.js" async> </script>
<script src="https://jsc.adskeeper.com/r/s/rssing.com.1596344.js" async> </script>