From Pool & Spa News:
"... But the swimmer didn’t just lend his name to the product.
Phelps and coach Bob Bowman provided input on various design elements of the new premium line, Lauter said. Indeed, one model was engineered specifically with the Olympian in mind — a swim area two feet longer than the next largest, with a propulsion system 40 percent more powerful than the standard.
“For the mere mortal, most of what we had would work,” Lauter said. “But for an elite swimmer, we had to do something special. So Michael and Bob were involved in helping us figure out some of the technical challenges, and to figure out how he could get in and swim, and use it as an effective training tool.” ..."
If I was a "kick ass" Olympian like a Michael Phelps or an Ian Thorpe, I would come out with a signature line of limited addition watches instead of hot-tubs. Did you know that a Bell & Ross watch uses a $300 an Swiss ETA movement and sells for around $4,500. Welder uses a Japanese movement that is a $100 less and their watches sell for about $1,500 - $5,000.
Other Olympians that could pull it off include Federica Pellegrini, Laure Manaudou, David Foster, Kosuke Kitajima, Alexander Popov, and especially, most especially, even severely especially, Dara Torres. she has a perfect demographic to sell a watch to as well
With a run of say 300 copies, each sells for $2,500 and your favorite athlete could buy a nice condo at the beach.
Athletes have to become their own businesses much like rock-&-rollers have to become their own record companies.
Kobe Bryant has a watch line and the watch he is selling is massively tacky: they call it, The Black Mamba, and to look good in it you better, 6'5", and have wrists the size of triathlete's water bottle for even on Kobe Bryant it looks like a grenade. The watch sells for $30,000 and it is selling!