College Still Likely, But Franklin Family Keeping Options Open Amid Sponsorship Offers
Dick Franklin, the father of U.S.Gold Medal-winning swimmer Missy Franklin, said that agents and corporate sponsors “have approached him about representing his daughter” despite the swimmer's pledge to stay an amateur and compete in college, according to John Henderson of the DENVER POST. Franklin’s parents said that whether or not she swims in college is “ultimately her decision." But Henderson reports the family is "keeping options open.” Dick Franklin said, "If there were to be some horrendous amount of corporate money thrown at her, then you'd have to sit down with her and say, 'Honey, I don't know that you understand what $1 million or $2 million is but that could be your children's education. That could be your house when you get married.'” He added, “If she goes, 'Yeah, but you know, I still want to swim for my school,' then that's what she's going to do." Dick Franklin, who previously negotiated endorsement contracts at Reebok and Head, said, "The money will be there in four years. In my experience, most of the corporations will come after her about 18 months, 12 months before the next Olympics. Rio's 2016 so it would be sometime after her sophomore year (of college). I think they'd come after her with a vengeance to sign her up for Rio." Henderson notes it is "unclear how much money Franklin could make in endorsements.” She is considered the “new face of American women's swimming,” but projected endorsement money “often isn't as great once the excitement of the Olympics fade” (DENVER POST, 8/1). The GLOBE & MAIL’s Eric Reguly notes Franklin’s amateur status means she is “turning down small fortunes in prize money -- about $150,000 so far -- and greater fortunes in potential sponsorship money.” Her parents “know that going pro has its downsides and just want Missy to explore all her options, being careful to be neutral even though the money is tempting” (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/1).