After the first week of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, it’s safe to say that 17-year-old U.S. swimming star, Missy Franklin, is the new face of American swimming and will be for years to come. The rising senior rounded out the week with four gold medals, including both the 100m and 200m backstroke titles.
Yet, the decision that lies ahead for Franklin of remaining as an amateur athlete or cashing in on lucrative endorsement sponsorships is one that could potentially change her ability to compete at the NCAA level.
“I’ll be surprised if (the family) doesn’t take a serious look at dropping amateurism,” said A.J. Maestes, a sports marketing expert and president of Navigate Research told The Denver Post. “The next four years will be the most she’ll ever make in her life. She’s so young and is a potential medalist in (the 2016 Olympics in) Rio. She has four great years of exposure. I honestly think she could make $2 million a year for four years. It’s not crazy to think she’ll get a four-, five- or six-year deal for $2 million a year.”
Missy Franklin: Amateurism vs. Sponsorships
For now, though, it looks as if Franklin has opted to keep her amateur status and decline any endorsement deals. According to her father, Dick Franklin, not even endorsements ranging anywhere from $1 million to $5 million could persuade her daughter to reconsider her options.
If Missy Franklin can maintain her position at the top of her sport, the income from endorsements and corporate sponsorships will still remain as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil draw closer.
“So many parents push their kids,” Ronald Oswalt, CEO of the San Marcos, Texas-based Sports Marketing Experts said to ABC News. “They think the Olympics are going to be their payday, but her dreams have already come true.”
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