To everyone’s and nobody’s surprise, Michael Phelps is human. He made a mistake, which was documented on a camera phone and positioned to an international audience.
He lost the Kellogg’s sponsorship and USA Swimming suspended him for three months.
Yesterday, he apologized.
Michael’s biggest public relations challenge now becomes getting the news media to do a flip turn and move on to another story. Hindering this is the news media’s goal to secure their own unique apology for their respective news magazine programs.
The best way for Michael Phelps to start reshaping public perception is simple… get back in the pool. When he is in front of news cameras, it conjures images of a bong at a college party. When he starts swimming, he helps to reattach himself to the strongest brand connection available…8 Olympic Gold Medals.
Michael, it is time to suit-up and get back in the pool!