Michael Phelps is the most successful and decorated Olympian of all-time. This retired competitive swimmer is one of the best-known athletes from the United States. As a result of his success, he has now built a personal net worth of over $50 million. However, this is not only money he earned from his swimming endeavors. Here is how Michael Phelps has become a multimillionaire.
Phelps was born on June 30, 1985, in Baltimore, Maryland. He started swimming lessons when he was just seven because his sisters enjoyed swimming and it was a skill his mother wanted him to learn. By the time he was 10, he already held the national record in the 100-meter butterfly for his age group. This was just the start of the records he would go on to break and the success he would achieve as a competitive swimmer.
He has competed in five Olympics events and can now boast a total of 28 Olympic medals, of which 23 are golds. This means he has the all-time records for Olympic gold medals, Olympic medals in individual events, and Olympic gold medals in individual events. Phelps has also won 82 medals in major international events and is the current world record holder in the 400-meter individual medley and the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly.
Winning these competitions set him off to a good start in terms of building his wealth. For every gold medal won at an Olympics event, the United States Olympic Committee award the medalist with $25,000. Likewise, silver medalists are awarded $15,000 and those who finish in the bronze position receive $10,000. So far, Phelps is thought to have earned in the region of $1.9 million from his swimming.
However, competitive swimming is not very lucrative. So, although his competitive success may have led to him earning a fortune, this was not how he made the majority of his money. It is believed that Michael Phelps was already a millionaire by the age of 18 and he currently has a net worth of over $50 million. Financial experts believe he has the potential to become a billionaire. This would make him the most financially successful pro swimmer of all-time.
Most of Phelps’ money comes from endorsements. Throughout his career, he has had endorsement deals with a wide variety of companies that have each contributed to the sports personality amassing such a huge personal wealth. Two of the companies that Phelps has had endorsement deals with include Under Armour and Visa.
However, one of his major endorsements was for Speedo and these are the brand of swimming trunks he wears during competitions. As he is the most successful swimmer of all-time, this was an endorsement deal that was lucrative for both parties.
Two of his most interesting endorsement deals was with cereal companies. He appeared on the boxes of Wheaties in a deal with the manufacturer, General Mills Inc., after competing in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Similarly, he had an endorsement deal with Kellogg Co. following the 2008 Summer Olympics. A picture of Phelps appeared on boxes of Frosted Flakes and Cornflakes.
The list of companies he endorses does not end there. Just some of his other endeavors include endorsement deals with Omega and the fast-food sandwich chain Subway.
Phelps first retired from swimming in 2012 but made his return to competitive swimming in 2014. He retired for a second time in 2016 as he said he wanted to end his career on a high. As he will no longer earn money from winning competitions, he is now reliant on other business ventures and on making lucrative financial investments in the future.
His future plans do not all revolve around making money, though, as he wants to spend some time with his family; wife Nicole and sons Boomer and Beckett. He often posts photographs of the family spending time together on social media.
The former swimmer is also focusing a lot of his time on philanthropic efforts. After receiving a $1 million bonus from Speedo following the 2008 Olympics, he used the money to set up the Michael Phelps Foundation. The aim of this foundation is to promote healthier lifestyles with a specific focus on swimming. He also has the Michael Phelps Swim School and is one of the founders of the ‘im’ program for the Boys & Girls Club.