Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Bullet Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian ever.
Jessica Kartalija explains why we can expect to see Phelps a lot in the future.
Already considered one of the top 10 most marketable athletes, now he’s the most decorated. That means even more Phelps out of the pool.
Maryland–and the country–have Phelps fever!
“I want to congratulate Michael Phelps, most medals we have ever seen,” said President Barack Obama.
“It’s so amazing that he is from Baltimore. It’s amazing. It’s great,” said Beth Powers.
Winning a silver and gold medal in London Tuesday, Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete ever. The world’s best swimmer has 15 gold, two silver and two bronze medals, making a career 19 medals.
“I get very excited and very emotional about it. I tear up when I watch the races,” said John Cadigan.
His star power has endured for years. Now he’s expected to gain even more exposure with a broader appeal.
“His marketability is going to go through the roof. He is getting a lot of attention. The focus is on London; the focus is largely on Michael,” said John Maroon.
Already considered one of the most marketable athletes in the world, Phelps has appeared in ads for companies like Under Armour.
“He’ll be everywhere and he should be everywhere,” Maroon said.
Marketing expert John Maroon says Phelps will broaden his appeal to athletic endorsers and non-athletic endorsers, as well.
“Anyone who wants to tie themselves to greatness, to athleticism, to patriotism,” Maroon said. “The Speedos, the swimwear and the Under Armours, but then there are going to be other ones that are more consumer-driven because people really have come to like Michael and root for him.”
For now, fans are getting a glimpse of the world’s greatest Olympian however they can.
“He deserves it. He has sacrificed a ton for what he’s done and he has worked really, really hard,” said Diane Runge.
Maroon says Phelps’ biggest challenge will be staying relevant. At 27, he has a long life ahead. We’ll have to wait and see what he does next.
Phelps has three more races in the 2012 Olympics.