Michael Phelps announced today he will appear on a reality TV show – airing on The Golf Channel, the 2013 season of The Haney Project, in which Tiger Woods’ former coach will help him improve his golf game. Appearing on a Tier B (or C) network’s reality show is something which has the potential to damage the Michael Phelps brand – and there isn’t much upside for him.
Phelps needs to be seen as mature, trustworthy, likeable and reliable to earn the millions he has the potential to earn in endorsements – I don’t think a reality show will help him do so… and could harm him.
Seeing the most decorated Olympian in history compete and learn another sport isn’t good for the brand of someone we see as the consummate winner –the visual of Michael Jordan striking out in baseball, it doesn’t resonate well.
Don’t we already have the great Olympian Bruce Jenner as an Olympic reality TV star – Does Phelps want to compete there?
P.S. – The athlete I do want to celebrate is my client and friend, Real estate developer Elie Hirschfeld – who this weekend at the age of 62 amazingly finished the 140.6-mile 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship in 14 hours, 22 minutes, 29 seconds. Amazing and inspiring.