Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Attention Professional Swimmers: TMZ may have you on their radar!

I kid you not. John Q. sent me an article from the New York Times stating that TMZ may be getting into sports gossip market. Go to the article and see what the hard evidence is.

"... TMZ’s zealous coverage of the salacious Woods story established its desire to pour resources into pursuing the infidelities of a superstar athlete. Woods became part of TMZ’s universe along with Michael Jackson, Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and a “real” housewife of Orange County. .."


The sports section use to be the most important page in the newspaper for it chronicled the achievements of men and woman rather than their failures and crimes.

Today, the sports page has become all of this: The "police blotter"section or what player has been recently arrested. The "business page" declaring salaries and business deals of sports megastars. Finally it is a gossip rag cataloging all the "movie star hookups" and shamefully who is afraid to come "out of the closet."

There you have it, four tabloids in one: Sports, crime, gossip, business and TMZ may be there to a professional swimmer if opportunity warrants. This, more often than not, will BREAK career potential!

Consider this warning from the Dallas Morning News; what they said about Michael Phelps is anemic compared to what they say about Tiger Woods:

"We tracked Michael Phelps before the Olympics, during the Olympics, after the Olympics and then after bong-gate," Chown says. "We've never seen a celebrity have such a dramatic rise and then a flameout back to reality."

Phelps ranked No. 1 in endorsement value right after his incredible performance in Beijing. Now he languishes at 530th.



Anonymous said...

hmm. seems a double-edged sword to me - on the one hand it may make swimmers more interesting and draw more attention to swimming, while on the other hand it sucks in that it's not about their performance but their personal life.

Tony Austin said...

Imagine Amanda Beard or Natalie Coughlin punching out Andy Dick after he attempts to thrust himself on them?

Or... Ryan Lochte as the designated drive for Tara Reid and Tiger Woods?

Anonymous said...

The problem with Phelps is less his out of pool antics and more his personality. To put it gently, he is probably too "normal.'' Like the rest of us, he is not particularly articulate, does not seem to have much to say beyond accomplishing his swimming goals and hasn't channeled his Olympic success into any eye-catching endeavor. He is not an American sweetheart or a real bad boy. He just is. While that can be endearing, it doesn't exactly raise the profile of him or the sport. Swimming needs a megastar with both the athletic gifts and magnetic personality. It's too much to expect that of Phelps.

Tony Austin said...

He is more articulate than I was at his age and as far as trouble goes: when I was in my 20's, he can't me! But I wasn't a fairy tale and Americans need fairy tales

The thing is, his management did a poor job of managing him. I spoke to an Olympian a few weeks ago and he laid it out: He said Octagon should have bought him friends; (I called them ninjas), or an entourage to protect him from trouble.

You know, the buddy who demands cell phone cameras be put in a bag when you go off in a separate room. People that are willing to "fall on their sword" by breaking a camera or doing whatever is necessary to protect a reputation.

The sort of people that screen the people you associate with. Sort of like "psychic parents"

If you are going to leverage the fairy tale aspects of what you have accomplished, you have to live it it or be yourself privately.

I think redemption is in the cards.

Amanda said...

Let's be honest: the drop-off for Phelps was going to happen anyway. Maybe it happened a few months earlier than it otherwise would have, but in general Olympic athletes (even legends) have an incredibly short window of time to capture the imagination of the public and then capitalize on it. I don't think he was going to be an exception even under the best of circumstances. It's not like he was Kobe, who was able to overcome the public disapproval from rape allegations and proof of infidelity by dominating the court the very next day and for months afterwards.

Tony Austin said...

Kobe's endorsement deals took a hit. In 1996-97 he had a $100-mil in endorsement deals for the next 5-6 years. Then he took a 50% hit in 2003.

He now makes $16-Mil a year in endorsements


Phelps lost almost all his endorsements didn't he?

Anonymous said...

Give Phelps a break. The kid is Special ED with A.D.D. He'll make stupid mistakes. That is why he lets Bowman do most of the talking.

Tony Austin said...

I like Phelps the swimmer, the superhero and the son! I don't like Phelps the business man and Speedo endorser

I am special ed too. Can't you tell by my typos and grammar?