Michael Phelps' Head and Shoulders Endorsement Kicks Off Olympic Endorsement Season

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 11

September 08th, 2011 Industry

Once every quadrennial( about four years) before the summer Olympics, a marketing fervor begins. Swimming is one of the biggest draws at the Olympics, and the ratings bear that out. At the 2008 Games, nights that had swimming drew an average of 16.2% of American households, which was up 7% from the previous games. Things are even better if your name is Michael Phelps: after Phelps’ last race, Olympic ratings plummeted in 2008, and the last 7 nights came out on average behind their 2004 predecessors.

And thus it’s no surprise that Phelps has kicked off this year’s marketing season. If you run a Google search on “Michael Phelps Head and Shoulders,” you get a lot of results. Mostly they are about how he is (or used to be) “head and shoulders above” the rest of the competition, or some description of his instantly recognizable butterfly stroke. But now, a whole new list of results will fight for those keywords after Phelps signed a 7-figure endorsement deal with Proctor & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders shampoo brand.

That’s a huge endorsement for him, akin to his Subway deal, and shows the potential for swimmers to reach outside of the aquatic community. Head & Shoulders Classic Clean shampoo is the United States’ best-selling shampoo, and the brand as a whole is the largest shampoo brand in the world. And their new face will be that of a swimmer.  Not only is this a huge win for Phelps, but also a win for the sport as a whole.

It’s on now. The marketing deals that potential Olympians will be signing in the next few months almost a sport in-and-of itself.

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10 years ago

Bryan: Blog fight, I know, right?! I am hoping to get more traffic his way. I think its working…

“Really AJ, that’s your contribution to the conversation, MP is better than Lochte?”

This is what all this is stemming from. Call it what you will, but my ill-researched snap back at AJ is nonetheless about what AJ said early. SO is it hypocritical to go after AJ with something equally as inflammatory? Absolutely. I’m not going to deny that, just like I won’t back down on AJ coming out and saying that on Lochte. Right now, look at the world ranking, Lochte is #1 in the events they swim against each other. Cold hard fact.

I believe in accountability, which… Read more »

10 years ago

Haha look an internet fight between several people who would never say these things if they were face to face! Braden your website finally made it!

I do have to offer my 2 cents on one thing. Lisa, you made the inane comment that “I can’t imagine why it took him till he was 24 to decide to set goals because he was tired of coming in second.” Really? He made an Olympic team at 19, and shortly after became arguably the greatest college swimmer ever. Lochte might not possess the unreal talent and physical advantages that allowed Phelps to become so fast so young, but he kept working hard, closing the gap, and when Phelps stumbled he swooped in… Read more »

10 years ago

@ Coacherik

If you’re looking for an example for your swimmers to emulate, start from yourself. First, stop posting comments full of nonsense and ignorance because some of your swimmers may actually read them. Second, hating on Phelps, the most successful swimmer ever, calling his endorsements ‘not classy enough’ and even degrading Phelps himself because ‘he’s throwing his likeness everywhere for money’ is totally uncalled for and it’s unbecoming for a swim coach.
I have never invested anything in Phelps nor do I have any connection or contact with him, I just don’t like to see a multiple Olympic champion being ridiculed and offended for no reason whatsoever, especially when it comes from a man who’s a part of… Read more »

10 years ago

Excuse some of my grammar typing on my iPhone is a pain!!

10 years ago

This is a article about MP and you choose to knock him. What AJ said wasn’t nearly as snotty as your remark. So please don’t high and mighty with me, you made a snotty comment about Phelps endorsement deals and I choose to speak up so don’t get all hypocritical and defensive. What Cullen is doing is great, but how about acknowledge MP’s work? He works with the special Olympics, the youth Olympics and the paraolympics. Through his foundation and the IM program he’s teaching kids to swim, google it and you can read about how are expanding. Listen to him talk about it every chance he gets and see for yourself that actually cares. Did you know that through… Read more »

10 years ago

One person comes forward and makes a comment against Lochte for no apparent reason other than to declare Phelps is the best and the whole MP Nation is here to protect his good name? Where was the relevance in that first post saying Lochte is second fiddle? They are countrymen and you can have an opinion, but to come on a thread to knock someone who isn’t apart of the story is just silly. Especially when the story is all about your boy..
1. The hot tub line is a part of a parent company’s, not his own hot tub company. He also tried to say that it was hoped to expand the world of swimming. You… Read more »

10 years ago

Nice try, Coacherik. You were joking, I hope.

10 years ago

Hot tubs and hair shampoo? Lol you forgot to mention the hot tub line is his own and very high end line. You also forgot Omega, deals worth millions with Subway, VISA and Under Armour. I’ve read various estimates that say he makes between 4 and 14 million a year. Not to sure where in that range is the most accurate but he makes a heck of a lot more than Lochte!

A recent SI interview with Lochte said he makes in the high six figures a year from his combined sponsors. Ummm Phelps’ ‘shampoo’ deal just cleared Lochtes combined annual income lol how’s that for ‘hottubs and shampoo’

Sorry coacherik, Phelps is still king. 14 Olympic holds will always… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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