The Business of Being Debbie Phelps

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Everyone knows Michael Phelps is going to be double-fisting endorsement deals for years to come. But who knew that his mom's getting a piece of the action?

The brands are clamoring for a piece of Phelps, Inc. Michael Phelps is endorsed by Speedo, AT&T Wireless, Powerbar, Omega Watches, Pure Sport, and Kelloggs. He's doing double duty for the cereal company- Phelps will soon adorn the boxes of not only Kelloggs Corn Flakes, but Kelloggs Frosted Flakes as well. For the past few years, he's been making $3 to 5 million per year in company endorsements. That's all in the past, though. Everything changed this weekend when he became the most decorated Olympic athlete in history. Now he's expected to make at least ten times that per year.

Phelps' agent, (aka the happiest man in the world) Peter Carlisle, told the WSJ that Phelps has received over 50 proposals for business opportunities per day since his record-breaking gold. He stated, "What is the value of eight golds in Beijing before a prime-time audience in the US? I'd say 100 million dollars over the course of his lifetime."

Picture 172.pngBut Michael Phelps isn't the only Phelps with value. The savvy Debbie Phelps, who has received more prime-time coverage than most Olympic athletes in Beijing, has a sponsor list of her own. After taking "the hearts of America in terms of parenting and mom of the year," per Carlisle, she is doing some work with Johnson's (of Johnson & Johnson) Baby. She also appears to be endorsed by Chico's, the ladies clothing store who is claiming to be her lucky charm. She even has her own collection!

Mrs. P contrivedly endorsed the brand, "They drape beautifully, don't cling, and flatter all body types. I'm a jewelry person, so I love that you can change the accessories and have an entirely new look. It's fun. I love Chico's." Chico's, which has seen 75% decline since last year, is reveling in Phelps-mania, claiming "women everywhere want to know how to get Debbie's look." Somehow, we doubt that's true.

Be sure to check out more of what Diana learned today here.

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August 20, 2008 - 6:39am
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