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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Phelps’

Michael Phelps’ Image Takes Another ‘Hit’ as He Heads to Rehab

michael phelps

Michael Phelps, 29, is the most decorated Olympian in history, with 22 medals (18 of them gold) from the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. And although he “retired” after the London Olympics, the guy is used to a certain joie de vivre. He loves the spotlight.

Let’s say it provides him a certain “high.”

The lackluster pedestrian life might not be enough for Phelps. According to Maryland police, Phelps was “speeding excessively and crossing double lane lines within the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday.”

After a DUI and a good amount of public shame, Phelps decided not to say “no, no, no”: he’s headed to rehab.

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Adventures in Marketing: Headphones by Snooki

Say you’re promoting a “premium” product with minimal production costs and you want to heighten its appeal to a certain target audience. What do you do? First you label it “premium” or “exclusive”. Then you slap a barely-related celebrity’s name on it and jack up its price well beyond reason. Score!

The latest industry overcome by celebrity endorsement deals is audio equipment. Headphones appear to be the new sneakers–when the $300 Beats by Dre model debuted a couple of years ago, they were the earwear equivalent of Nike Air Jordans. The first question to ask someone wearing Beats by Dre was either “When’s your album coming out?” or “How can I get tickets to the release party?”

Once marketers realized how profitable this racket can be, everyone and his brother (and his brother’s nephew, who appeared on one episode of some reality show) jumped aboard the C-list headphone train. Are they better than iPod earbuds? Do they offer deeper bass and crisper high-end sounds for compressed, low-quality mp3s? Sure–but this is more than a little ridiculous.

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Will Phelps Lose His Medals?

It’s tough being Michael Phelps. Despite the fame, the fortune and all that precious metal around your neck, you just can’t do the sorts of things that normal dudes in their mid-20’s do in this country every day: visit strip clubs, take bong hits at frat parties and star in weird, not-quite sexy ads for Louis Vuitton, famed French maker of very ugly, very expensive tote bags.

The alleged offense in this latest, mildest Phelps controversy concerns the act of making money before mommy Olympia says its OK. Olympics participants are legally forbidden from appearing in ads or other promotional events with any non-Olympic entities during a one-month period from July 18 to August 15. The punishment for related violations is somewhat severe: offending athletes may be required to relinquish their medals altogether. The games would almost definitely turn into an advertising orgy if this restriction weren’t in place, but how does it apply to Phelps?

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Reader Poll: Who Won the Olympics of Endorsements?

Uh......OKWe’re calling it: Corn Flakes spots are only the start for Gabby Douglas, Aly Reisman and the rest of the “Fierce Five.”

Now that the torch has been extinguished, the medals have been awarded and fans have received serenades from John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and—for some reason—George Michael, one big question remains: Which athletes really cleaned up at the 2012 Games? Beyond the obvious winners (Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte and all-time champ Michael Phelps), who will come out on top of the Olympics endorsements game?

First place is a lock: This week’s all-out media blitz by the gymnastics team will include appearances on The Tonight Show, The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, The Colbert Report…you get the idea. The always-prescient New York Post predicts “hundreds” of endorsement offers for Douglas alone.

But how fares the rest of the US squad? Read more

Ryan Lochte and Reality TV: A Perfect Match?

Sorry, no chocolate insideTake a moment this morning to imagine that you’re Ryan Lochte: You’ve just won two gold medals, two silvers and a bronze. You’ve appeared on the covers of Vogue, Time, and Men’s Journal. Most importantly, you’ve managed to defeat your arch nemesis and teammate Michael Phelps to reign atop the ranks of chlorine-tinged supermen for one brief, shining moment.

Now that you’ve made your mark on the world of sport, earned your 15 minutes as an international “brand” and made your requisite appearance in the British tabloids, the time has come for you to answer the question that vexes a nation:

The Bachelor” or “Dancing with the Stars?”

How about both? The world of reality TV is calling, and this morning good sir Lochte told Matt Lauer that he is “looking towards” it. After scoring endorsement deals with Gillette, Speedo, Gatorade and Ralph Lauren, the 6’2″ fish has let the world know that he’s ready to leave the water — or at least to trade the Olympic pool for the Pacific Ocean.

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Roger Clemens’ New PR Counsel: Levick Strategic Communications

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Its been a long road for star baseball pitcher Roger Clemens since his poor performance at a congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball 15 months ago. Now, the Daily News reports, Clemens is onto his third PR counselor, Levick Strategic Communications SVP Gene Grabowski.

Grabowski told ESPN yesterday that he knew Clemens was not lying when he told him he never used steroids because he “looked him in the eye.” The Levick SVP certainly has been busy lately, handling the Michael Phelps‘ bong mishap, Alex Rodriguez‘s steroid scandal, and KFC’s “ill-fated grilled chicken launch.”

Deadspin has more. Of course, there is always an ulterior motive. Clemens and his team feel the need to counter press around the release of a new book (written by four Daily News writers) titled, “American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime.” Ouch.

Needless to say, the Daily News writers are not impressed with the new spin. Wrote columnist Mike Lupica, “…once you get Clemens off his talking points, almost everything becomes a brain buster.”

UPDATE: Levick did not handle work for Rodriguez, Phelps or KFC, but rather was called to comment on them by the press. Also, in a comment to a post on Peter Himler‘s blog, The Flack, Grabowski wrote, “I know, the Mike and Mike [ESPN] segment I did is somewhat controversial. But sometimes these roles are thrust upon us, as you know. I try to do whatever it takes to help my clients. In this case, it meant going to bat for him on a national sports talk show.”