Phelps Re-Signs With Speedo Through 2013

Speedo announced this morning that 14-time gold medalist Michael Phelps will continue to endorse the brand through 2013. We sat down with Phelps and Joe Gromek, CEO of Warnaco

, Speedo’s parent company to talk about the deal and the swimsuit industry.

Phelps on re-signing:“If you think about it, I’ve been with the brand since I was 16. And it has been the only suit that I’ve ever worn in my life.”

Due to FINA’s ruling that will ban bodysuits next year, Speedo’s LZR Racer business has come to an abrupt end. The company is now selling the suits at 50 percent off on its Web site.

Gromek on the sudden change and how it has affected business:“Bad news, good news. Bad news, we could never meet demand for the suit. Turns into a good story. We didn’t have many…We obviously stopped production on the suit and will try to make the distributors whole in this situation.”

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

Gromek on whether FINA will help them pay back retailers: “Of course not.”Gromek on whether going back to older technology will affect Speedo’s business: “I think the elite suits that we produce is a very small part of the business –- probably a couple of percentage points for Speedo. But it does create the halo effect for the brand. It’s very important. That’s why it’s so important to have Michael as our lead spokesperson for the brand as well.

Phelps on whether he will sell any of his gold medals now that gold reached $1,000 an ounce for the first time in six months: “No.”

Questions? Comments?