http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/258782

Michael Phelps Gets Sports Illustrated Cover and One Million Facebook Fans

Posted Aug 19, 2008 by Chris V. Thangham
What's next for Michael Phelps after winning an incredible eight gold medals with seven world records in one Olympics? A Sports Illustrated cover, one million Facebook fans, endorsements and more.
Michael Phelps
File photo: Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps on the cover of Sports Illustrated showing all eight of his gold medals from the Beijing 2008 Games
Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated
Almost everyone in the world now knows the name Michael Phelps. Now that his swimming events are over at the Beijing Olympics, some believed his popularity would fade. However, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Phelps' Facebook page has grossed more than one million fans and is growing quickly. Facebook is also promoting this page, according to Mashable.com.
Phelps is second only to Barack Obama, who has 1,351,000 fans on the social network. Republican John McCain has 207,000 fans. Phelps is expected to surpass them all and become the most popular Facebook person of all-time.
When he spoke with NBC recently, Phelps said he was suddenly getting a huge amount of "friend requests" via Facebook.
The Olympic swimmer is also appearing on the cover issue of Sports Illustrated wearing all eight of his gold medals. It will no doubt become a collector’s edition.
Phelps is also being sought after by Nike for a reported $40-million endorsement deal plus other sponsorship totaling $100 million.