CAA, IMG, Octagon, WMG (Casey Wasserman) and The Legacy Agency have already taken meetings with Missy Franklin’s parents reports the Sports Business Journal.
“From the time Missy announced that she would be swimming in college, we’ve been extremely transparent about her plan to compete at the collegiate level for two years,” her father, Dick Franklin, said in a statement.
To anyone in the swimming community, certainly insiders, this is a well-known fact. Franklin loves her Cal Golden Bears and will continue to compete at the amateur level through the spring of 2015, the end of her sophomore year, at which point she’s said that she would turn pro a year before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Franklin’s parents are a formidable team. D.A., Missy’s mom, is a physician, and her dad, Dick, has extensive experience as a corporate executive. Parenting any swimmer isn’t easy. Parenting, perhaps, the greatest female swimmer of all-time is daunting. According to most Olympic analysts and Olympic fans, Franklin’s parents have done it flawlessly.
Franklin became an Olympic darling at the 2012 Games in London, winning four gold medals, but her fame was driven by the fact that she would not turn pro, would not go-for considerable endorsement dollars. Franklin wanted to compete in college. Period. Behind the scenes, Franklin’s parents did not take this lightly.
But the decision was made, and arguably it makes her even more marketable in the run-up to Rio. The two years out, the two slow years in the Olympic cycle, certainly don’t seem to have hurt her any according to the SBJ reports – she’s still on the radar of every major agency in sports.
It’s less than 12 months until we see Franklin unleashed upon the world. Hers will be the true test of swimming’s viability after Phelps. Phelps was a special breed, he had bigger and badder endorsements than any swimmer in the modern era. If anyone can come close to touching his level in the public eye, then swimming has turned a little bit of a corner.