Michael Phelps: Making Waves in Business After the Olympics

Michael Phelps, renowned for his record-breaking 28 Olympic medals, has successfully transitioned from professional swimming into the world of business. This case study explores Phelps’ entrepreneurial journey and how he leverages his sports fame in his business ventures.

MP Brand

Michael Phelps launched his swimwear brand, MP, in 2014. This venture was made possible through a strategic partnership with Aqua Sphere, a manufacturer known for its innovative swim products.

The MP brand offers a wide range of high-performance swim gear, designed to meet the needs of both professional athletes and swimming enthusiasts. The product line includes technical swimsuits, goggles, and other essential swimming accessories. These products are distinguished by their quality and performance, reflecting the brand’s commitment to excellence.

An interesting aspect of the MP brand is that Phelps himself wore its products during the Rio Olympics. This not only served as a powerful endorsement but also testified to the effectiveness and reliability of the brand’s offerings. After all, if the gear can support a record-breaking Olympian in achieving his goals, it promises great potential for other swimmers.

Phelps’ involvement extends beyond just endorsing the products. He actively participates in the design process, offering insights based on his extensive experience in the pool. This direct input from one of the world’s top athletes gives the MP brand an edge over competitors, as it ensures that the products are tailored to meet the specific needs of swimmers.

Mental Health Advocacy

Michael Phelps has been incredibly vocal about his own battles with mental health, helping to break down the stigma often associated with these struggles. His transparency about his experiences with depression and anxiety has played a significant role in raising awareness about mental health issues, particularly in the world of professional sports.

In 2018, Phelps took his advocacy work a step further by partnering with Talkspace, an online and mobile therapy company. As an investor and board member, Phelps has been instrumental in promoting the platform’s mission of making mental health services more accessible to everyone. His involvement with Talkspace not only provides the platform with a high-profile endorsement but also underscores his commitment to advancing mental health care.

Phelps’ mental health advocacy extends beyond Talkspace. He has used his platform to launch broader mental health initiatives through the Michael Phelps Foundation. These efforts aim to address urgent mental health issues and provide resources for those in need, further demonstrating his dedication to this cause.

Phelps’ commitment to mental health advocacy has been recognized by various organizations. Notably, he was honored for his advocacy work, underscoring the impact he has made in changing the landscape of mental health awareness. Moreover, he was awarded the fifth annual Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion for his efforts to destigmatize mental health.

Throughout his journey, Phelps has emphasized the importance of communication and acknowledging that “it’s okay not to be okay”. His work serves as a reminder that mental health should be a priority for all, regardless of their status or profession.

Phelps’ advocacy has had a profound impact not just on individuals struggling with mental health issues, but also on the perception of mental health in society at large. By sharing his own experiences and championing accessible therapy, Phelps continues to drive important conversations about mental health and push for meaningful change.

Michael Phelps: Making Waves in Business After the Olympics

Michael Phelps Foundation

After his successful run in the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps used his platform to give back to the community by establishing the Michael Phelps Foundation. This non-profit foundation is a testament to Phelps’ commitment to promoting swimming and healthier lifestyles.

The foundation’s mission is to promote water safety, healthy living, and the pursuit of dreams, which reflects Phelps’ own journey as an Olympic champion. The organization primarily achieves this through its signature program, “im,” named for Phelps’ signature event, the individual medley.

One of the key initiatives of the Michael Phelps Foundation is the implementation of a learn-to-swim, healthy living, and goal-setting curriculum. This comprehensive program aims to educate children about the importance of being active and setting goals.

The foundation collaborates with strategic partners like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to deliver these programs. By partnering with such organizations, the foundation is able to reach a wide demographic of children and instill in them the values of healthy living and goal-setting from a young age.

In addition to promoting water safety and healthy living, the foundation also focuses on mental health awareness. Phelps has been open about his struggles with mental health, and through the foundation, he seeks to provide resources and support for those dealing with similar issues.

The Michael Phelps Foundation also awards scholarships to promising swimmers who lack financial resources to pursue their dreams. This highlights Phelps’ commitment to ensuring that every child, regardless of their economic background, has an opportunity to pursue their dreams in swimming.

Over the years, the Michael Phelps Foundation has made significant strides in promoting swimming, healthy living, and mental health awareness. Through its various initiatives, the foundation reflects Phelps’ commitment to giving back to the community and making a positive impact on future generations.

Phelps Ventures LLC

Phelps has also shown interest in diversifying his business portfolio. While not yet fully realized, he has expressed interest in tech investing, a new direction that would broaden his business experience beyond his swimwear line.

Impact on the Business of Swimming

Beyond his personal business ventures, Michael Phelps has had a profound impact on the business of swimming as a whole. His incredible success in the pool, coupled with his popularity, has brought unprecedented attention and financial resources to the sport.

According to Chuck Wielgus, the former executive director of USA Swimming, Phelps’ influence has been instrumental in attracting more sponsorship deals and broadcasting rights for swimming events. As a result, more money has flowed into the sport, benefiting not just Phelps but also other swimmers and stakeholders in the swimming community.

Moreover, Phelps’ entrepreneurial ventures, such as his swimwear line and Phelps Ventures LLC, have further contributed to the sport’s commercial growth. By creating products and services related to swimming, Phelps has helped broaden the market and create more opportunities within the sport’s business landscape.


Michael Phelps’s transition from an Olympic swimmer to a successful entrepreneur demonstrates how athletes can leverage their personal brand and passions into business ventures. His strategic business moves, from launching a swimwear brand to investing in online therapy and establishing a foundation, highlight his entrepreneurial acumen and commitment to causes close to his heart. Phelps continues to make waves in the business world, just as he did in the swimming pool.



USA Today



Michael Phelps Foundation

AP News

Hartford Business



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *