Michael Phelps to pitch Mazda in China

LOS ANGELES - The greatest Olympian in history is returning to China, this time as a brand spokesman for Mazda.

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the summer games in Beijing, has signed a seven-figure deal to endorse the new Mazda 6 model in a series of ad campaigns and personal appearances.

His pact with Los Angeles-based DMG Entertainment, a division of Chines media, lobbying and entertainment group DMG, could be the largest single sponsorship deal for a Western celebrity in China's history.

The campaign will be unveiled during the first half of the year; the deal does not include Hong Kong.

Phelps already has deals with such firms as Speedo, Visa, and Rosetta Stone. He was driving a Land Rover when he was arrested for drunk driving in 2004.


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