The London Olympics are over but the real prizes for many Olympic medalists are yet to come. The money that comes with winning a medal -- $25,000 for a gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze -- pales in comparison to the sponsorships and endorsements deals that will be signed.
[Related: Olympic Winners: Do They Deserve Tax Breaks?]
Gold medalist Gabby Douglas became an instant millionaire after winning the all-around gymnastic competition in London. Douglas has already agreed to appear on the Kellogg's corn flakes box in a deal that is estimated to be worth between $1 million and $3 million. She will likely garner many more lucrative deals.
Meanwhile, swimming champion Ryan Lochte already had a number of endorsements heading into the London games, but is sure to have many more after beating Michael Phelps in the 400 individual medley race. He is also vying to be the next 'Bachelor' on ABC's hit reality series, in exchange for a reported $750,000.
Shaun White's Endorsement Advice for Athletes
Winter Olympic medalist Shaun White is no stranger to the wave of product sponsorships that comes with Olympic triumphs. Bloomberg named him the second most powerful athlete in 2011, behind NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. White is worth an estimated $20 million and earns a reported $2 million per endorsement deal.
White was in New York this week to launch his new gum, Stride Mintacular. While in Manhattan, White joined The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task to give his advice to recent medalists and aspiring Olympic athletes.
He says athletes should "keep it true" when picking and choosing endorsements. Basically, if you believe in the product, go for it.
"If it is something that you are going to have your name on, promote it. And if you want your fans to like it and support you in that sense, then it has got to be real," he says.
In 2011, White signed a multi-year contract with Stride, a Kraft (KFT) brand. Mintacular is his second gum flavor after the success of last year's Whitemint, which has become Stride's second most popular flavor. The snowboarder has also worked with Target (TGT) and Oakley for more than a decade.
Shaun White's Advice for Achieving Your Dreams
The financial burdens that come along with the dream of attending and competing in the Olympics are very "heavy", White says, adding, "It's intense. It's a sacrifice you're making."
To wit, Gabby Douglas's mom filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and Ryan Lochte's family faced foreclosure. White's parents had to take out a loan on their house to help pay for his Olympic endeavors.
"I gave them the money back for the house," White says. "It was this big defining moment for me" to give the money back.
White believes the financial pains are worth the payoff, and suggests aspiring athletes should do whatever it takes to attain their dreams, as should the rest of us.
White is currently training for the next winter Olympics, slated for Russia in 2014. He tells Aaron he is working on some new tricks, but would not divulge anything more than that.