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. 

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.