Phelps Returns to China for Million Dollar Car Endorsement
Michael Phelps, Olympic history maker is returning to Beijing after agreeing to do a 7 figure endorsement for Mazda. He is expected to receive over $1 million for the TV commercials making him the highest paid foreign celebrity in China's history.
Phelps plans on returning to the Water Cube in Beijing to do some training in between filming to prepare for the World Championships in Rome this summer.
Phelps said returning to China stirred emotions.
"There are some memories, some flashbacks of that time when I landed and was first going to the Olympic Village," he said. "Driving around today on the roads — sort of seeing some landmarks I saw — really just brings back more and more memories."
Mazda vice-president Yu Hongjiang said he was certain Phelps would help sell cars in China's growing car market.
China is the world's third largest car market, but even here sales have slowed during the global economic slump.
"We have very strong confidence in him [Phelps]," Yu said.
"We all know the auto industry has had some unsuccessful records with image ambassadors. But there is no doubt this will be successful. … Currently in China, nobody has the reputation that Phelps has."