The Growth of Aquatic Sports🤽🏿♂️
6 minute read · Issue Number 75 · July 2nd, 2021
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Aquatic sports like water polo, swimming, and diving don’t usually get as much attention as other high-profile sports such as soccer, football, or cricket. However, Michael Phelps was a massive catalyst that changed that.
Here’s why 👇🏻
The Growth of Aquatic Sports
Aquatic sports were never as popular as they are today.
Think about it– who cared about swimming before we were all witnesses to Phelps’ greatness? Yeah, Mark Spitz was kinda relevant for the sport, but they’re entirely different leagues:
Spitz won seven gold medals and participated in two Olympic Games = very cool.
In four Olympic Games, he won TWENTY THREE gold medals. 🤯 🤯 🤯
This man placed a spotlight on aquatic sports, and it significantly developed the economics of the sport.
Today, top athletes in aquatic sports earn lucrative incomes, and the organizing bodies of these sports have colossal economic incentives.
How can aquatic athletes make money? Three main routes:
Truthfully, most athletes will never make the podium in their careers – so they’ll look for different routes to monetize their name, image, and likeness—multimillion-dollar endorsement deals, for instance.
In 2018, Katie Ledecky signed a $7 million marketing deal with TYR— making it one of the most lucrative deals in swimming history.
Elite water polo players earn around 100k to 150k a year. Superstar player Tony Azevedo earned about 275k per year, and Chris Ramsey, CEO of USA Water Polo, makes over $300,000 to manage the organization.
Of course, we can’t compare those to the multimillion-dollar endorsement deals in swimming, but it is still a decent salary in sport management.
The following table summarizes the top paid athletes in aquatic sports and the companies they work with:
The Bottom Line
The aquatics industry benefited tremendously from having an elite athlete such as Michael Phelps – aquatic sports became more popular and intriguing for fans to follow besides athletes and executives are also earning more.
In a nutshell; more attention = more endorsements = more $$$.
Is that the formula to improve the size and quality of a sport?
🎙 Halftime Snack of the Week
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In our conversation, we discussed topics related to fan engagement, strategy, privacy, product development, and more!
🏃🏽NCAA takes a big step toward allowing athletes to profit from name, image, or likeness; The NCAA Council voted Monday to support an interim policy that would allow college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL) without violating NCAA rules.
✊🏾 Inside the Zoom call where Kyrie Irving tried to burst the NBA’s bubble; “Now’s the time to turn the volume up and keep it turned up because you jumped out there to speak up for the voiceless.”
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Until next week,
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