More on Michael Phelps…

“Attention marketers, it is quarter to 12, the seats on this bandwagon are closing in 15 minutes. If you’d like to hitch your ride, please contact your nearest Octagon representative immediately.”

Check out this Yahoo article on all the endorsements Michael Phelps has lined up. If you’re a marketer on a big brand, are you ponying up to become one of the many sponsors, or are you steering clear to avoid getting lost in the fray?

Carlisle does limit the number of Phelps’ corporate endorsements, which include Visa, Speedo, AT&T, Omega, Kellogg’s, Pure Sport, Rosetta Stone and three to five more coming in six months.
Phelps already has plenty of exposure. After Athens, he landed on a dozen magazine covers and six national TV spots. Octagon created behind-the-scenes videos of swimmers, including one featuring the friendly rivalry between Phelps and Ian Crocker, another U.S. Olympic swimmer.

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As for Michael Phelps…

…see, it’s starting. We’ll be over-Phelpsed in no time.

The O(ver)lympics

Geez, finally, the Phelpslympics are over. I can only watch so many butterfly heats, 3.1-difficulty dives, volleyball spikes, ribbon dances and 30-point basketball blowouts before it gets just a tad uninteresting.

Yet from a marketing standpoint, there are three cool things to take a good, long look at. One is which of the big medal winners will cash in for endorsement dollars (Phelps of course, Lebron, Kobe…feel free to keep going). Ok, that’s an easy one.

Second is, what cool things did we see that were new, different, etc. (and useful to marketers). The opening and closing ceremonies of course. Huge marketing opportunities. How? Well, for example, with all the Internet buzz created by the hot girl from Paraguay spotted in the opening ceremony, there’s gotta be a way for, say, Hooters, to infuse hot, branded models into the crowd of marching athletes. Well, then there’s the whole damn list of venues, obviously (Bird’s Nest, etc.). I think those just became a huge sponsorship opportunity too. Can’t you see the Apple iStadium coming to a future Olympics? Then there’s that cool little World-Record-pace line that follows the participants across the pool during the swimming events. Could easily have Nemo or some other animated character pulling it across the pool to promote a movie or DVD release.

Third is, what will the future Olympics bring? Well, as Mark Cuban points out in his latest post, it could be an ESPN-hosted 2016 Olympics (thank God, hopefully). Yahoo’s Fourth-Place Medal blog also had a post (complete with ESPN-like humor) on the topic. Seriously, that would be the best thing. We’d get less Costas-drama-setting and more real-athlete analysis and experience-telling. Although, the funny ideas suggested by the Yahoo blog may not be too far off. I can already hear Chris Berman calling the discus throw with his “Back, back, back…” call. However, he’d be making the call on an Olympic broadcast set “Built by Home Depot” or “Driven by GMC” or “Powered by General Electric.” Because when ESPN broadcasts, passionate sports fans tune in and watch…and marketers’ dollars follow.

How Long Before Michael Phelps is Worth More Than the GDP of a Small Country?

My guess is about a week from now.

Get used to Micheal Phelps if you haven’t already had a good, long look, because we’ll be seeing him in alot of places, like…um, everywhere. This man, the face of 2008 Beijing Olympics, with the oodles of gold around his neck, is about be the spokesperson for alot of stuff. As I write this post, an AT&T commercial just came on ESPN with him in it. A rabid fan is going crazy about him in the ad.

As a marketer, would you charge ahead and sign on to this bandwagon? The pros are certainly there in terms of the global awe surrounding his achievements and the clean-cut image. Yet, will we be over-Phelpsed in a few weeks? Will consumers be able to recall which product he’s signing off on, and asking you to sign onto, and when?

It’ll be fun to watch the big brands go head-to-head in a duel to leverage this man’s likeness in the most creative – and recall- and sales-generating – ways.