U.S. Swimmer Ryan Lochte Will Be In The Spotlight Ahead Of London Games
U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte "will be treated like a movie star" for the next 11 months before the '12 London Games after he "aced his screen test to be the leading man" of next summer's Olympics by winning five Gold Medals at last month's FINA World Championships, according to Karen Crouse of the N.Y. TIMES. Lochte's agents, Erika Wright and Shawn Zenga, "think big when it comes to marketing their main man." Lochte's endorsements include Speedo, Gatorade and Mutual of Omaha, and the "list is growing by the day." After the world championships in Shanghai, Wright and Zenga "signed him to a deal, not yet announced, to pitch a product once endorsed by Tiger Woods." Also in the works "is a fitness video, shot in the weight room, which will introduce unconventional uses for beer kegs and tractor tires." Lochte "wants to increase" the mass appeal of strength training. Crouse noted Wright and Zenga "showed up at one of Lochte’s meets last summer wearing jeans, high heels and black leather jackets with Team Lochte emblazoned on the back." Lochte, previously repped by Octagon, said, "That’s what I like about them. They’re different, like me." Wright and Zenga are "part sharks, part bodyguards and part mother figures." Lochte: "They make my life 10 times easier." Wright, whose husband is a longtime music manager, said, "I know absolutely nothing about swimming, but what I could tell from the first time I met Ryan is he’s marketable. He has such an ability to reach people, to touch people, to get into people’s hearts because of his nature" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/7).