In the lead-up both the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials and the 2016 Olympic Games, swim fans have been treated to several Facebook Live sessions held by 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps.
Through his multiple live videos, we’ve been able to go on a Phelps-guided Olympic Training Center tour, eat a meal with the 18-time gold medalist, and spend part of the new Dad’s first Father’s Day with the athlete as he published a live video with baby Boomer and fiancée Nicole last Sunday, June 19th.
As admirers of Phelps, most viewers of his videos would like to altruistically think the 30-year-old is producing and posting them to keep fans involved and connected with the athlete. While that may still be the case, the Wall Street Journal reveals that there is also a strong monetary motive behind the videos.
Per an article published in WSJ today, Phelps is listed among 140 media companies and celebrities hired by Facebook, Inc to create videos for its relatively new live-streaming service. The goal is to utilize the well-known businesses and personalities in an effort to rake in advertising dollars via increased engagement with Facebook’s estimated 1.65 billion monthly users.
Phelps reportedly will reap $200,000 from the arrangement, a nice paycheck for not having to leave the couch. NFL quarterback Russell Wilson and chef Gordon Ramsey reportedly receive the same amount, which is small change compared to the $600,000 comedian Kevin Hart earn from his live streaming.
In terms of businesses, the highest paid publisher is BuzzFeed, who is slated to receive $3.05 million for live broadcasting between March 2016 and March 2017.
The fact Phelps gets a paycheck for his Facebook posts may dull the shine of finally getting a glimpse into the steely competitor who has dominated United States’ swimming for more than a dozen years. But, that doesn’t mean gaining insight into what makes the most decorated Olympian of all time tick isn’t worth it.