Oh, to be a gold-medal Olympian. Michael Phelps’s record-breaking victories this Olympics could be worth between $50 and $100 million in endorsements, and it’s quite possible that Speedo and Nike may soon enter a bidding war over the rights to clothe the lightning-fast swimmer’s body.
Israel’s athletes, meanwhile, do not carry that kind of endorsement power. Perhaps it’s because Phelps won more golds in just this Olympic games than the Jewish state has won medals ever.
Still, making it to Beijing does count for something in Israel, at least in the malls. Castro, the apparel chain known for blaring cheesy euro-pop and pushing sexy clothing on the Jewish masses in seemingly every shopping center from Afula to Tel Aviv to Eilat, has launched an “Olympic Collection,” having itself fit the Israeli team in uniforms of white and blue. “The colors were inspired by the national flag,” Castro’s designer told The Jerusalem Post.
So look on the bright side: Even if the team fails to win a medal at this Olympics, at least they’ll look like a million bucks. Or is that shekels?