Although Olympic athletes aren’t paid for their participation in the games, strong performances in the global spotlight can often lead to lucrative sponsorship deals, and business opportunities.
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time as he competes in his final games in Rio. The American swimmer now has a record 25 medals. Twenty-one of them are gold. Here’s what you need to know about Phelps’ net worth, endorsements, and charitable foundation.
1. He Has a Net Worth Estimated at $55 Million
Phelps’ eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics launched an array of endorsements. His net worth is estimated at $55 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
2. He Has Several Lucrative Endorsement Deals
Following the 2008 Olympics, Phelps reportedly earned a $1 million bonus off then-sponsor Speedo. Phelps established the Michael Phelps Foundation with that bonus. The foundation aims to inspire children to lead healthy and active lives through the sport of swimming and to promote critical water safety skills, according to its website. The foundation states that it has helped raise over $60,000 for nonprofits that share its mission.
Phelps has signed deals with Speedo, Visa, Omega watches, Subway, Kellog, Under Armour, Louis Vuitton, Procter & Gamble, Hilton hotels, HP, Powerbar, Head and Shoulders and several smaller companies.
Phelps is currently earning an estimated $12 million a year in endorsement pay, according to Money Nation. FX News Call estimates his sponsorship deal with Under Armour alone to be worth $5 million.
3. He Has Earned an Estimated $1.8 Million From Swimming Medals
American athletes winning medals at the Rio Olympic Games receive a cash prize from the U.S. Olympic Committee. The awards vary based on the medal won. Those awards are on top of the actual value of a “gold” medal – which is around $366 for the Rio games. The gold medal is a mixture of a small amount of 24-karat gold, some copper and a lot of sterling silver, according to Time.
Phelps has earned a figure pegged around $1.8 million since 2001 from swimming medals, according to Money Nation. That’s equivalent to a salary of $113,000 per year. That number is based on $25,000 for each of the 18 Olympic gold medals Phelps has won, plus $15,000 for each of his two silvers and $10,000 for each of his two bronzes. That figure will go up by $75,000 as Phelps has won three gold medals as of Tuesday night in Rio.
The estimate also takes into account the 37 gold medals, 11 silver medals and one bronze he has won in various National, World and Pan Pacific championships. While there are not exact figures on the cash awards for medals in those contests, Money Nation applied the Olympic payouts for an estimate.
4. He Earned $200,000 During the 2008 Olympic Games
The 2008 Beijing games were monumentally successful for Phelps.
His eight gold medals in the Beijing summer games earned him $200,000 from swimming medals. In 2012, he earned $130,000 in London with four gold, and two silver.
5. He Owns a 6,800-Square-Foot Home in Paradise Valley
Phelps recently purchased a 6,800-square-foot home in the upscale suburb of Paradise Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, according to USA Today.
He lives there with his fiance Nicole Johnson, and their 3-month-old son.
“Our backyard looks right at Camelback Mountain,” he told USA Today. “You go outside in our backyard and we have orange and tangerine and lemon and lime and peach and apple — all these different fruit trees growing in our backyard.”
Phelps previously owned a Newport Beach Mansion in California. Although details on the property are scarce, it is believed to have cost at least $8 million, according to Gazette Review.