We knew Michael Phelps was big, but this is just unprecedented.
Phelps has become the most highly sought-after living being to endorse a product on the planet.
The Davie-Brown Index, which keeps track of these rankings, had Phelps all the way down the list at #1,111 just before his historic Olympic medal run in Beijing.
Now, after D-B released their latest rankings since the Olympics concluded, Phelps has shot up to the #1 spot overall.
According to Darren Rovell over at CNBC's Sports Biz, here's how the rest of the list finished up behind the Aquaman:
2. Michael Jordan
3. Tom Hanks
4. Emeril Lagasse
5. Oprah Winfrey
6. Shawn Johnson
7. Michael J. Fox
8. Paul Newman
9. Denzel Washington
10. Morgan Freeman
Phelps is more lovable and marketable than MJ and Tom Hanks right now? And even the celebrity (Morgan Freeman) who was doing the voice over for the Visa commercials about Phelps has been surpassed? Heavy stuff. It even appears that a endorsement hall of famer, Brett Favre's rankings were hurt recently by his big trade to New York.
Also, of note Shawn Johnson is #6 on the list (probably because of her excellent work in that Ortega commercial). [BTW, for some reason they are still waiting on data to place Nastia Liukin, the All-Around gold winning gymnast]
But the Olympic limelight fades quickly. More so than any other athletes, Olympians struggle to keep up sponsorship fervor between Olympic years.
Do you think Phelps can go the distance and maintain the starpower needed to stay #1? He better start bangin' someone really famous and hot soon or, I'm sorry to say, he'll start to move down those rankings faster than some guy who is the fastest swimmer on the planet
CNBC: Michael Phelps Now Most Coveted Celebrity Endorser, September 9, 2008