Michael Phelps’ Olympic Super Agent, Carlisle, Respected as Creative Force

In the afterglow of Michael Phelps’ crowning 22 career Olympic medals, Team Phelps is enjoying the limelight.

Bob Bowman’s on a sabbatical from his coaching duties at North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), joining the London 2012 Performance Debrief panel as a high-powered political player for uber sports firm, TSE Consulting.

Michael Phelps shines on pro golf courses and globe trotts stumping for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and his foundation.

And Phelps’ Olympic manager, Peter Carlisle, is basking in the success as well, having just been named featured guest and Executive-in-Residence at The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst).

Mark McCormack, for whom the department is named, is a legend and considered the first uber sports agent after building golf pro Arnold Palmer’s career and subsequently the biggest sports marketing company in history, International Management Group (IMG).

Peter Carlisle, Octagon Managing Director of Olympic and Action Sports

This is a big feather in Carlisle’s cap, and well-deserved. The Managing Director of Octagon’s Olympic and Action Sports division is well-respected and liked among his peers. As a point of fact, he is one of the nicest sports agents you’ll ever meet. Well aware of his power in the Olympic niche, Carlisle has invested a lot of personal time mentoring young athletes who have retired and sought careers in the sports industry. On balance, it’s challenging to be critical of Carlisle. He did lose Ryan Lochte as a client, but, from an ecomonic/revenue point of view, Carlisle may not have needed another Olympic swimming star, and Lochte’s  personality may not have fit with Carlisle’s Olympic marketing plan. (Janey Miller is also an Olympic manager at Octagon, with many clients, including swimmers Natalie Coughlin, Nathan Adrian and Ricky Berens.)

Carlisle has managed countless Olympic stars aside from Phelps (Apolo Anton Ohno, Kelly Clark and Ross Powers, to name a few) and his go-to corporate partners are A-list in the market: Under Armour, SUBWAY, Speedo, VISA, Omega, AT&T, P&G, Nokia, General Mills, Nike, HP, Disney, Nestle, Hilton, Coca-Cola, etc., etc.

Students, VIPs and other attendees will be in good hands at The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management. Carlisle is the consummate sports insider, with knowledge he does share, unlike many power-brokers. More than anything else, Carlisle can and surely will share the anecdotal stories that make working in the Olympic market so much fun. Case in point: Carlisle recounts his time at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as Debbie Phelps’ security guard against the onslaught of media. “Mel,” he told me, “sometimes the job isn’t about negotiating contracts for high-profile athletes. Sometimes it’s shielding Debbie, ducking and running to the car, over and over again. That’s what I did most of the time back in 2008.”

Not a lot of people know it, but you can follow Peter Carlisle on Twitter here.  Peter keeps it low-key.

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8 years ago

What a rare class act Mr. Carlisle is!
I wonder how Ryan’s career would be going outside of the pool if he had stayed with Carlisle? Much less manufactured celebrity crush information…

8 years ago

ESPN posted an article a while back after Carlisle spoke (which included video of his entire speech/lecture)…really incredible insight in how he and michael crafted his career. It also explains why Phelps so rarely does interviews–limit his access to make him more valuable. Of course, not every athlete has the power to command such accessibility….but it nevertheless is extremely interesting. Wonder if Octagon will sign Schmitt and Franklin.

8 years ago

My name is Debbie and I am Deaf. I am trying to find an address to send some photo’s to micheal phelps so that he could autograph them for a group that I help out with (Deaf people with mental health issues). I would be greatful if you could send me an address that I could use.
i would like to post our own photos micheal phelps to him to be autographs


would you be able to let me know if micheal phelps trains at your swimming pool centre in maryland ?

iam trying to find an address for him so that i can get his autographs

pls which address of him



About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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