If there were any questions as to whether Michael Phelps would ever get hurt from a marketability standpoint from his DUI in Nov, 2004, they were put to rest this morning by Tony Ponturo, Anheuser-Busch's vice president of sports marketing.
I asked Ponturo if he would ever consider using Phelps in advertising for his beer brands and this is what he had to say.
"Obviously, we would look at the total picture--the total character," Ponturo said. "His determination, inspiration, what he's doing, you know you would put all the into that decision making."
When I pressed him again if he'd seriously consider Phelps he said, "You have to consider it. He's a tremendous tremendous talent and one little incident should not overshadow what he is an individual."
There's your answer, folks. If a beer brand would use Phelps, you have to think that pretty much any brand would.
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