ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 11. MUSIC has always been a major part of Michael Phelps' pre-race routine. So, his latest endorsement deal is more than fitting.
Matsunichi Communication Holdings, based in Hong Kong, has signed Phelps to endorse its MP3 players and other electronic devices. Reports indicate that the deal could be worth more than $4 million over its four-year duration. Official terms of the contract were not released.
In a story published by the Baltimore Sun, Phelps' agent indicated that the deal is ground-breaking.
"Based on all of our research, I don't think there's a more lucrative individual endorsement deal that's ever been done by a traditional Olympic athlete – outside the major sports," said Peter Carlisle, director of Olympic sports for Octagon.
Phelps, of course, is coming off an eight-medal haul at the Athens Olympics and is preparing for the World Championship Trials in early April. His appeal as an endorser is huge, evidenced in his deals with Visa, Speedo and Omega, among others.