Swimming World Magazine:
"...More to come as we contact the various parties. As of right now, Phelps is currently warming up in the pool in an Arena short-legged brief...."
"...Speedo has released the following statement regarding the end of the relationship: The celebrated relationship between Speedo, the world's leading swimwear brand, and Michael Phelps, which has spanned more than 12 years, formally concluded at the end of 2013. ..."So, is he going to Arena? - Maybe, but if he does the branding on the suit will surprise you.
On November 14th of last year, Swimming World, reported that Michael Phelps had rejoined the US drug-testing program so as to keep his "options open." The swimming public at large wasn't taking his "options" statement seriously, we all knew this was a comeback.
Those who over-thought his decision were perplexed as to why he would do such a thing? To be fair their reasoning was sound: In the first two-years after the Beijing Games Phelps barely showed up to workouts. His relationship with his coach sucked and it was broadly publicized that he would rather be playing golf and playing poker than swimming mile-after-mile, week-after-week. But when the Olympics came around once again he stunned the doubters like me and medaled.
Meanwhile back at the "SCAQ Lab" on that cold November day I was depressed. This comeback meant that tech-suits would still remain in exile and Michael Phelps would still remain the center of infinity for all things swimming. Disturbed beyond measure I began scanning Google News for statements by Phelps or Bowman and all I could find were articles about the solidifying relationship of Michael Phelps and Under Armor.
Phelps & Under Armor stories were seen appearing in Bloomberg, Associated Press and elsewhere. Even a video download of Phelps training in Under Armor gear was available at Dropbox as a free download.
Will he be swimming for Under Armor? This is what I first thought. After discussion with those on the front lines of this sport I became uncertain.
Phelps has made it known in several interviews that Michael Jordan is his inspiration. The two don't have much in common other than sharing the same first name, a love of for the game of golf and that subtle coincidence that both are considered the greatest athletes ever in their disciplines. Another item which they don't have in common is that Michael Jordan has a heck of lot more money than Phelps does and receives what I like to call an $80-million-year "annuity" from Nike by way of a royalty payment for his Air Jordan shoe line.
So, now that Michael Phelps left Speedo, guess what I suspect is going to happen?
We are going to see a Michael Phelps swimsuit line distributed by a company other than Speedo. Will it be Under Armor, Arena, or will Speedo come to their senses and realize that Michael Phelps has a more positive brand name and recognition than they do?
But that is not all. It gets even better, If Michael Phelps gets his own swimsuit line, why not double down and give the sport's future "Queen" a swimsuit line as well? That's right! Missy Franklin!