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Lochte Seen As Olympic Marketing Star With Fashion Forward Taste

Lochte Seen As Olympic Marketing Star With Fashion Forward Taste

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Lochte currently has deals with companies including Speedo and Gatorade
U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte has "been on a breakneck tour of national appearances and promotions, making him this Olympics’ all-American swim hunk even before the United States team has been announced,” according to a Style section cover story by Melena Ryzik of the N.Y. TIMES. Lochte is “being groomed to be a breakout Olympic superstar, with millions in corporate sponsorships to match his athletic accomplishments.” He is “already featured in ad campaigns for Gatorade, Gillette and Nissan,” and a fitness DVD is forthcoming. NBC has referred to Lochte as “arguably the face” of the U.S. team on its Olympic Talk blog. Ryzik wrote calling Lochte a “sex symbol is hardly a stretch," as he is featured on the cover of this month’s Vogue, along with U.S. women’s soccer G Hope Solo and tennis player Serena Williams. Marketing experts said that Lochte is “emerging as the bigger story” than swimmer Michael Phelps, as he has the “golden-boy looks, the regular-dude demeanor.” Ryzik noted with a “hard-charging business manager, Erika Wright, recently hired to expand his marketability (the fitness DVD was her idea), Mr. Lochte has seen his downtime all but evaporate as he juggles the demands of training with his professional responsibilities outside the pool.” Lochte’s dream is “to eventually become a clothing designer.” Speedo Marketing Dir Katie Malone, whose company has sponsored Lochte since ’06, said, “We always sort of internally refer to him as the rock star of the swimming community.” She added, “If someone’s zigging left, he’s zagging right. He wants to stand out.” Lochte has “a hip-hop and skater-inflected look, with flashy jewelry and swaggy high-tops.” He has “worn diamond grillz over his teeth on the winner’s podium.” Lochte said having to wear the official Olympic team uniform designed by Ralph Lauren during the Opening Ceremonies “stinks because I really want to wear my shoes.” He plans to “accessorize with diamond bracelets and some new grillz.” Lochte: “Maybe like red, white, blue -- a flag, so when I smile, it’s like, pshoosh!” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/10).

SHOW ME THE MONEY: FORTUNE’s Alex Konrad noted Lochte is “expected to win gold and receive nearly $2.3 million in earnings this year.” With Phelps planning to retire after the London Games, Lochte “appears poised to earn even more” (FORTUNE, 6/11 issue).

RYAN LOCHTE'S SPONSORSHIP DEALS, INCOME IN '12
INCOME SOURCE
AMOUNT
Speedo
$500,000*
"Lochte 180 Fitness" video proceeds
$500,000**
Gatorade
$300,000*
Gillette
$300,000
Nissan
$300,000
AT&T
$250,000
USA Swimming Fund
$30,000
Others
$100,000
   
NOTES:
* Will receive bonus from Speedo and Gatorade with Olympic medal in London Games
** Estimated expected income.

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