Medal winners are all angling for endorsements

Which 2016 Rio Olympic Athletes Are Landing The Biggest Endorsement Deals?

All the medals have been handed out for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the game of endorsement deals is just getting started. Sure, the likely suspects for big endorsement deals are American gold medal winning athletes Michael Phelps and Simone Biles, but what companies are looking for athletes to push their products, and what kind of money are they paying? But after the 2016 Olympics, one athlete, swimmer Ryan Lochte, 32, is scared that his current endorsement deals are about to end because of his sketchy behavior in Rio.

But before the cereal and sportswear companies come knocking, American athletes who win medals come home with a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal, and a check per medal, according to the Inquisitr. For the 2016 Rio Olympics, American athletes get $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze, and that is per medal. So, for example, American gymnast Simone Biles received four gold medals and one bronze medal, so she will receive $110,000 for her medals alone, while swimmer Michael Phelps, for five gold medals and one silver medal, gets a check for $140,000, before any endorsement deals are signed.

But even though in the United States we are most familiar with American athletes, and what products they are shilling, the top five endorsement deals for 2016 Olympic athletes right now are a mix from all over the world, according to Money Magazine. Winning medals at the Olympics can make you famous, but it’s the endorsement deals make you rich.


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Swimmer Michael Phelps currently has $12 million in endorsement deals, with likely more to come, as he is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. At this time, Phelps has left behind his endorsement deal with Speedo, and has a deal with Aqua Sphere (for an undisclosed amount). Additionally, his sponsor list now includes Under Armour, Omega, Master Spas, Sol Republic headphones, and 800razors.com, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Michael Phelps has been known to keep the dollar amounts private, but it is estimated that in 2016, Michael Phelps has a net worth of $55 million.

Another American, tennis phenom Serena Williams, also has some sweet endorsement deals, in addition to her tennis winnings. Serena did not live up to her hype at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but she still exits the games with $20 million in endorsements at present. At the moment, Williams reps Nike, Wilson, Beats, Delta Air Lines, and IBM, with her Nike contract rumored to be $40 million for five years (Serena Williams’ net worth is said to be $160 million).

But while Michael Phelps might be the fastest Olympian in the water, Jamaican Usain Bolt is the fastest on land as the most decorated Olympic sprinter of all time, with six gold medals. Puma has been partnering with Usain Bolt since 2003, and reportedly signed a deal in 2013 with Puma for $10 million per year. Right now, Bolt is still with Virgin Media and Hublot, but in the past, he has partnered with Gatorade, Visa, and Comcast (Bolt is thought to have a net worth of $60 million).

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has been plagued by injuries this past year, but he pulled it together to play in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But even though Nadal was injured, he managed to earn $32 million over the last year in endorsements alone. For now, Rafael Nada has endorsement deals with Nike, Babolat, and Kia (Rafael Nadal has a net worth of $140 million).

But while newly minted gold medal winners are striking deals with a variety of companies, bad behavior and a tarnished reputation can get your endorsement deals canceled. Swimmer Ryan Lochte is finding out the hard way that causing an international incident at the Olympics, and lying to the IOC will not only get you in trouble but will cost you dearly in endorsements, per the Washington Post.

Speedo, Ralph Lauren, and Gentle Hair Removal are choosing to part ways with Lochte after he admitted to “over-exaggerating” a claim that he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Speedo put out a public statement to explain their decision.

“While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for. We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience.”

This leaves Ryan Lochte with one endorsement deal, and that is with a Japanese mattress company, who says they will stick by him.

But American gymnast, and newly minted gold medal winner, Simone Biles is going to need to sift through all of her new offers, including an invite to be on Dancing With the Stars, says WWD. Biles came into the Olympics with endorsement deals from Nike, Tide, and Kelloggs, but that seems like just the beginning for the 19-year-old athlete.

Watch for commercials and magazine ads coming soon with your favorite 2016 Olympic athletes.

Do you think it was right for companies to dump Ryan Lochte?

[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]

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