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Volume 21 No. 2
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Plugged In: Peter Carlisle

Two weeks away from the opening ceremony of the London Summer Games, Octagon’s Peter Carlisle, who represents Michael Phelps and manages a division more than 50 other Olympic athletes, talks about the challenges of marketing athletes, and his plans while staying in London.

It’s always been very hard to market an Olympic athlete outside of their home country. ... It’s very difficult to take an athlete to another market, to work with the media there and try to generate enough exposure and follow up. Everyone watches the Olympics and you see these athletes, but then if they disappear for four years, there’s not much of a platform there. It just takes a lot of time. You can do it, but it’s always been a struggle. One of the things I find very encouraging going into London is the global activation. Now, Visa and Head & Shoulders and others are marketing these athletes in other countries that are really important markets for the athletes. It’s quite a difference when you’re receiving for approval marketing materials from Pakistan. That’s a significant development, and it’s going to present a huge opportunity for these athletes to become global icons.

Where are you staying?
Hilton near Covent Garden. I wanted to stay somewhere that allowed me to travel above ground while I’m there.

When do you leave for London? July 25.

How many people from your division will go? 8.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in London? I lived there when I was 21 …off of Baker Street. There’s a pub called The Globe, and it’s one of the few places [where] I could afford to eat back then.

Is your family coming over? My wife is planning to come over for four or five days. I am scheming to bring my two boys around that same time.