In his first partnership since his DUI ordeal in 2014, 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps has signed on as investor and spokesperson for Baltimore-based 800razors.com. Terms of the new deal reported by The Baltimore Sun were not disclosed, but other investors include former Apple CEO John Sculley, according to the company.
Phelps’ agent and Managing Director at Octagon sports agency, Peter Carlisle, identifies the arrangement with 800razors.com as just “one of several new business partnerships being considered by Phelps” in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The deal adds to Phelps’ already impressive sponsorship portfolio, which includes Under Armour, Omega, Master Spas, Sol Republic headphones and Aqua Sphere.
Philip Masiello, co-founder and CEO of 800razors.com, said Phelps’ role will include television and online advertising, but that Phelps will also have ‘significant ownership’ in the Windsor Mill company. Carlisle says this deal’s architecture will be fairly typical of Phelps now that he’s well-established and thinking long-term.
“I don’t see him entertaining a typical spokesperson role,” Carlisle described. “That doesn’t mean he will only do deals where he will have ownership. They will have to be opportunities that make sense on a variety of levels beyond just the financial — for example, if there is a legitimate and meaningful tie-in to his foundation.”
800razors.com not only is Baltimore-based, which attracted the ever-Charm-City-loyal-Phelps right off the bat, but the company has an affiliation with Chimes, an organization providing job opportunities for people with disabilities. That’s a concept, which fits nicely with the Phelps Foundation and the organization’s support of the Special Olympics.
The partnership of arguably the world’s most successful swimmer and a razor company also fits nicely into the pre-racing ritual most athletes in this sport undergo. Only now with this new deal, Phelps is ever the more invested in shaving down before the big meets.