Speedo Strikes Endorsement Deal With Michael Phelps

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Speedo announced the extension of an endorsement deal with world-record swimmer Michael Phelps through 2009. This is Speedo's richest swimwear sponsorship to date.

World-record swimmer
Michael Phelps (center)

The sponsorship includes a $1 million bonus if Phelps earns a record seven Olympic gold medals at the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, Greece, or the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The new contract also extends Speedo's contribution to Phelps' college education.

"The $1 million bonus is unique," said Stu Isaac, senior VP-team sales and marketing for Nottingham, England-based Speedo in a statement. "It will certainly help to keep him motivated and cause media attention."

According to the contract, Phelps will make personal appearances both with Speedo customers (such as sporting good chains and department stores) and at corporate events. He will make appearances within the swimming community at clinics and will compete in and promote the World Swimming Championships 2004 in Indianapolis.

Cross-promotional opportunities will be available with Speedo and his other sponsors, including Visa and USA Swimming.

"The deal with Speedo is uniquely well-suited [to Phelps]," said Peter Carlisle, Octagon representative for Phelps. "Certain campaigns can maximize cross-promotional benefits through products and services that are promoted together."

Phelps is the youngest male swimmer to break a world record and the youngest U.S. male swimmer to turn professional. His first agreement with Speedo was made two years ago when he was 16.

Phelps is a familiar face to Generation Y. His popularity has increased attendance rates and media attention at swimming competitions.

"He is helping to promote to the Gen Y market—he is a very recognizable athlete," Isaac said. "He will not only help with the research and development of swimwear, but also with footwear and swim shorts. His input was regarded while creating the Elite Racing Suit that will be used at the Olympics in Athens."


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