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Michael Phelps Announces Major Endorsement Deal

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — He was the king of the pool two years ago before announcing his retirement. Now Michael Phelps has launched a major comeback—and it’s not just in the water.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how he’s relaunching his brand.

Michael Phelps is competing at the US National Championships this week and now he’s announced a major new endorsement deal.

Making a splash at US Nationals—Maryland’s Michael Phelps is back on the swimming scene.

“It’s fun. It is enjoyable for me to be able to be back in the water and to be able to race at this level again,” Phelps said.

The 22-time Olympic medalist is also making waves outside the pool. He’s just announced a new deal with swimwear company Aqua Sphere. Phelps will launch his own brand of swimwear.

“Being able to have such hands-on interaction with them and really help them build a product that we think is the best,” Phelps said.

He’ll also be the face of a water safety campaign with the company, a move Shana Harris with Warschawski Public Relations says could help him clean the slate.

“Let’s get away from the past. We know he’s had some issues or troubles in the past. And now this really presents that platform for him where he can grow that new emotional connection using this as a springboard for his new brand,” she said.

It hasn’t been disclosed how much money Phelps will make off the new sponsorship. Some estimate the swimmer’s net worth around $5 million.

Phelps already has a long-standing endorsement deal with Baltimore-based Under Armour for all of his gear outside the pool.

“To the public, that shows, hey, if Under Armour is staying with him, that shows he must still have it,” Harris said.

Now it all comes down to how he performs in water.

How Phelps swims this week at nationals could determine whether we’ll see him at the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Phelps will begin wearing his new Aqua Sphere suit in competition in January.

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