Published September 9, 2009
|Phelps Will Continue To Consult Speedo On New
Product Development Under New Contract
Speedo today announced an extension with swimming superstar Michael Phelps through '13. Terms of the agreement were not available. As part of the deal, Speedo will donate $10,000 to the Michael Phelps Foundation for every World Record Phelps sets. Other Speedo swimmers include Olympians Natalie Coughlin (U.S.), Ryan Lochte (U.S.), Katie Hoff (U.S.), Libby Trickett (Australia), Eamon Sullivan (Australia), Park Tae Hwan (South Korea) and Rebecca Adlington (Great Britain). Phelps did not rule out Speedo launching a signature product line in the future, saying, "It's something hopefully we'll see. I can't say anything is definitely lined up for that." He added of the donations Speedo plans to make, "That's something that's pretty exciting and new and will make me work harder." Under terms of the agreement, Phelps will continue to serve as a consultant to Speedo as it develops new products. Speedo parent company Warnaco Group President Helen McCluskey: "That participation in terms of new product development is really important for us. In some ways, his signature and endorsement is on every product we make" (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal
). Phelps: "I've been with the brand since I was 16 and it's been the only suit that I've ever worn in my life. I always felt like it's the best and that's what I want to continue wearing. I'm glad to continue this partnership for the next couple years" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 9/9
). Phelps will "work with the company to develop its new version of older-generation swimwear" (Matthew Futterman, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/9
WORKING ON NEW SUITS: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Christopher Elser reports Speedo plans to "release new swim suits in the next few months that conform to the new regulations instituted by FINA" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 9/9). Warnaco Group President & CEO Joe Gromek said the company stopped production on the suits that were part of the ban and added Speedo will "try and make the distributors whole in this situation." Gromek: "There's opportunity here because the lead swimmers will need new uniforms and we will be able to provide new uniforms. We're working on innovative technology today that will be launched over the next couple of months and it will be the most extensive line of Speedo that we've seen today." He added the swimsuits worn by Phelps and other endorsers are a "very small part of the business; it's probably a couple of percentage points." However, Gromek noted it creates a "halo effect for the brand and it's very important. That's why it's so important to have Michael as our lead spokesperson for the brand as well" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 9/9).