Don’t expect your favorite gold medalist to vanish from the public eye simply because the Olympic Games have concluded.Â With the advent of social media, now more than ever, Olympians have an opportunity sustain their Olympic buzz and earn extra dollars away from the track, swimming pool, gymnasium, etc.
They are successfully leveraging social media to build stronger brands, connect with a growing fan base, and prove they have what it takes to drive TV ratings. Â Until now, brands have been less bullish about getting in bed with Olympians because of the dreadful four years of dormancy between the Olympic Games.Â And it seems more TV executives are taking notice and rewarding them with lucrative deals.
Two Olympians who have impressed and successfully convinced TV networks they’re capable of winning ratings gold are Michael Phelps and Sanya Richards-Ross.Â Though Phelps is no stranger to the limelight and has held multiple high profile million-dollar endorsements throughout his career, he’s making first foray into the TV business.Â Richards-Ross previously starred in a wedding special on WE tv.
According to GolfChannel.com, the winningest Olympian of all time is the latest athlete to join the Golf Channel’s, The Haney Project.Â Starting February 13, you can follow Phelps and Hank Haney, host and professional golf instructor, and see if Phelps has what it takes to conquer the links.Â The series will also include cameos from his mom, his friends, and his long time swimming instructor. Â Past seasons of The Haney Project have starred Charles Barkley, Ray Romano and Adam Levine.
Meanwhile, according to Deadline, Richards-Ross is the newest female celebrity to join WE tv’s reality TV lineup.Â The show, which was shot prior to the Olympics, will give the WE tv audience an exclusive peek into Richards-Ross’ intense training period leading up to the Olympics, as well as the personal life she shares with her husband Aaron Ross, a two-time Super Bowl champion and Jacksonville Jaguar cornerback.
WE tv has not announced a premiere date for the new show.
In other related news, America’s newest sweetheart, Gabby Douglas, is confirmed to join Oprah Winfrey as a guest on Oprah’s Next Chapter.Â The interview will air August 26.Â And Phelps’ friendly rival and former teammate, Ryan Lochte, has admitted to considering stints on Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, however nothing has been confirmed.
While it should be easy for athletes to transfer gold medals into dollars, it’s not, especially for female athletes. Traditionally, the opportunities afforded female athletes pale in comparison to their male counterparts, and the pickings are even slimmer for niche competitors.Â Yet, with The Haney Project six months away and the premiere of Richards-Ross’ show unknown, I wonder if the American audience will still care about either of these athletes when their shows eventually hit the air.
What do you think?Â Are you looking forward to watching any of these gold medalists on TV?