The Olympic cauldron is extinguished and the Olympic flag has passed from London to Rio de Janeiro.
So which Olympians left their mark on the 2012 games and are the biggest names in business? What names will sports marketers and sponsors be looking to sign?
Here’s a look at five Olympic athletes you can expect to cash in between now and the start of the next summer Olympics. (Note: To be eligible for consideration, athletes cannot complete in a professional sports league — so LeBron James, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Misty May-Treanor are out.)
1. Michael Phelps, Swimmer
The king stays at the top. London 2012 cemented Phelps' legacy as one of the all-time global sports icons. Phelps leaves London with staggering career numbers — a record 22 medals, 18 of them gold.
The swimmer says he’s hanging it up and won't compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Many of his endorsement deals with the likes of Speedo, Visa, Omega and Nike run through 2016. Phelps’ agent Peter Carlisle of Octagon's Olympic & Action Sports division estimates that Phelps could earn $100 million from endorsements, sponsorships and appearances over his lifetime. So even if he’s not in the pool, the most-decorated Olympian of all time will remain a top marketing force the next four years.
Click Next To Read More .