Marriott CEO Tips Cap To Phelps (A Hilton Spokesman)


When your competition inks a great athlete to an endorsement contract, I’d suspect you wouldn’t go out of your way to talk about that said athlete.

But, on his blog earlier this week, Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, couldn’t stop spouting about the Olympic performance of Michael Phelps, who is a Hilton spokesman.

Bill Marriott writes:

To me, and I'm sure to many of you, these Olympics will be remembered because of Michael Phelps and his eight gold medals in swimming, making his total career gold medal count 14 -- more than any other Olympian.

I find Michael Phelps' journey very inspiring. Not only does he have a body built for swimming with large hands and size 14 feet -- he has his own personal flippers -- but he has an amazing ability to be disciplined and tremendous stamina. The discipline says that he swims every day of the year -- 365 days -- even on Christmas, Thanksgiving and his birthday. He completes at least two full workouts a day, when getting ready for a competition will workout up to four times a day and swims 40 - 50 miles a week.

But, boy, does he eat. He eats 12,000 calories a day to maintain his ideal body weight. A website says for breakfast he has "three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet. One bowl of grits. Three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar. And three chocolate-chip pancakes." I wish there were a lot of Michael Phelpses eating in our hotel restaurants!

What a great example he is of discipline, hard work, total commitment and the importance of training. I want to congratulate Michael on his amazing accomplishment, as well as all the other Olympians who made these Games so exciting to watch.

I’m guessing that Mr. Marriott isn’t aware that Phelps pitches for Hilton, which means that his people should either let him know. Or perhaps Hilton, which has a small un-updated mention of Phelps on its Web site, needs to be doing a better job of understanding the connection. For what it’s worth, Phelps did stay at a Hilton when he came to New York.

Questions? Comments?