The Michael Phelps Sports Illustrated Cover & Are Those 8 Gold Medals Helping Chicos Sales?

The Princess apologizes for showing so much ‘Beefcake’ these last two days, but it can’t be helped if we are to do the public service of supplying readers with the most current fashion and lifestyle news. And there you have it:

The most current news of some kind, we are not completely clear what kind it is, other than the photographic sort. But evidently these covers of sporting magazines are quite a topic of discussion following major sporting events. Of course, there isn’t a precedent for an athlete winning 8 Gold Medals at an Olympics. The closest of course, was Mark Spitz.

But that photo of Mr. Spitz up above on the left didn’t make the cover. Mr. Spitz was on three different SI covers as best we can count, while Mr. Phelps has already been on five. Below we share another example, but that’s all. We can’t have people thinking this blog is nothing but a flesh factory! To see the other covers of Mr. Phelps and those of Mr. Spitz, or any other SI cover, just click here.

It never ceases to amaze the Princess how powerful the impact of a Gold Medal athlete can be, for things completely unrelated to the accomplishments of the athlete. Consider for a moment the clothing worn by Debbie Phelps, mother to one record-breaking, mind-bending Team USA swimmer.

Did you pay much attention to it? Wonder where it came from? Where you could buy it? (Neither did we.)

We were too busy marveling at an amazing Mother who piloted her son through a life spent chasing a dream, and then helping him in its ongoing management following his success at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

But someone paid enough attention to find out where Michael’s Mom *did* purchase her apparel, and apparently all, or a good portion of her Beijing wardrobe is from Chico’s. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are generally put in the same group that includes Talbots, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, and a few more catering to women a bit beyond their teens or early twenties. The company also owns White House | Black Market and Soma Intimates.

According to reports from a number of sources, Debbie Phelps shopped at a Chico’s store in a Baltimore suburb before leaving for Beijing. However, there isn’t any ‘sponsorship’ arrangement between the retailer and Ms. Phelps according to a recent Forbes story online.

There is no official sponsorship deal between Debbie and Chico’s. “Fortunately for us, she just likes the brand,” says Bob Atkinson, vice president of investor relations at the women’s specialty retailer.

That doesn’t mean Michael Phelps’ success in the pool and the reflected scrutiny of his mother hasn’t been good for business. Another Chico’s executive shared her thoughts with Access Hollywood:

“Ever since Debbie first wore Chico’s in Beijing, our phone lines have been ringing off the hook. Women everywhere want to know how to get Debbie Phelps’ look!” Michele Cloutier, Chico’s Brand President, said in a statement released exclusively to Access Hollywood.

It turns out that Debbie Phelps will be filming a commercial for Johnson’s Baby division tomorrow; the company named her their “Mom of the Olympic Games”. She is already active outside of her many roles as a middle school Principal in Baltimore and Mom of three; she is the national spokesperson for a Facebook group called ADHD Moms. The group can be found on Facebook.

Access Hollywood also managed to find out that Mr. Phelps will be on a cereal box, actually two cereal boxes: Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Those hit store shelves in September, and heaven only knows what deluge of Michael merchandise we’ll see before then. (Just another reason to have Cook make up an extra batch of Scotcheroos!)

Mr. Phelps has not enjoyed much down time following that last appearance on the podium. His list of sponsors is already lengthy, including Omega watches, Visa, and Hilton Hotels. Now that the competition part of his Beijing stay is completed, many have expectations of Mr. Phelps. For example, yesterday it was the Speedo Athlete Media Day.

And having been to, and around, so many of these type functions for years, TP can assure you it is not all fun and games, despite appearances.

It can be very tedious indeed. And as Mr. Phelps was estimated to be earning between $3 million to $5 million a year through his endorsements *before* Beijing, at that level you know the sponsors must be taken care of.

Michael Phelps (2nd R), Ryan Lochte (2nd L) and Australian swimmers Eamon Sullivan (L) and Grant Hackett (R)

Michael Phelps (2nd R), Ryan Lochte (2nd L) and Australian swimmers Eamon Sullivan (L) and Grant Hackett (R)

Enough of the Speedo shenanigans or we’ll be back to the Beefcake and we won’t sink to that level.

In fact, at this point it is rather enough of all the swimming and things and we’re off to a League function! We hope you enjoy a splendid evening!

(BTW, the photo credit for this most recent SI cover goes to Simon Bruty.)

NOTE: We have corrected Mrs. Phelps’ title, which was originally and mistakenly published as ‘teacher.’ This redacted version of the post now accurately reflects her professional status as a middle school Principal. Our thanks to Becs’ Bohemia for enlightening us on this one!


Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Updates

4 responses to “The Michael Phelps Sports Illustrated Cover & Are Those 8 Gold Medals Helping Chicos Sales?

  1. I can’t lie, I really like the Debbie Phelps look! HAH!

  2. I love how Mark Spitz’s medals have gold chains instead of the ribbons they use nowadays! So 70s

  3. Jen

    I think it is so funny that anyone would want to copy the Debbie Phelps look. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do think she looks very attractive and has wonderfully put together outfits. It just cracked me up. Thanks for the great pics of Speedo day. I hadn’t seen those before–YUM!!

  4. more manflesh, please! Just kidding, I just love Mark Spitz and the mustache! Did you hear him tell the story about it?

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