Guessing who was going to be on the Wheaties box after each Olympic Games has turned into a tradition. It’s one of the defining honors an athlete can receive, staking their claim as the America’s Olympic Hero. It’s also a great marketing ploy for General Mills, as they receive tons of free advertising and are associated with the hot sports star of the moment. And even though we’re only midway through the Beijing Games, it was clear that the big star of these games was Michael Phelps, making him almost a lock for the Wheaties cover.
It turns out you can throw that out the window - apparently Mr. Ocho Oros is too good for Wheaties.
ACCESS HOLLYWOOD reports that Phelps has signed a deal to appear on the covers of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes boxes hitting stores in mid-September. Maybe he just loves Frosted Flakes - perhaps the extra boost of sugar gave him the extra 0.01 seconds he needed to win eight gold medals. Or perhaps Kellogg’s just gave him a lot more money that General Mills. It’s funny - I don’t remember cereal being part of his Mr. Creosote-like breakfast feed.
Either way, expect plenty of commercials with Tony the Tiger and Phelps as part of a torrent of Phelps-related advertising that will overload your senses over the next few months. The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reports that Madison Avenue is jumping on the Phelps bandwagon, with his post-Olympics endorsements possibly earning as much as $40 million. Some of the companies that are looking to push Michael Phelps down your throats for the rest of 2008 include Visa, AT&T and Hilton.
Noticeably absent is Apple, and you would think that they would jump at bringing him on-board based on all the free publicity he gave the iPod during the Games. Or that based on the 1,000 times we saw her in the stands, Phelps’ mom might get her own endorsement deal with Kleenex. Either that or, judging by her wardrobe, Ross Dress for Less. (Editor’s Note: Me-OW!)