October 11, 2010
By Dan Schechner - Pool & Spa News
Poolandspa.com Newsletter October 2010
Las Vegas, NV USA
In a town of showstoppers, this year’s International
Pool | Spa | Patio Expo may feature the brightest star
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps will be on hand
at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on
Nov. 3 to introduce a new signature line of swim spas by
Phelps, who also will handle official ribbon-cutting
duties for the Expo, is expected to remain at the Master
Spas booth for two hours or so to meet the
manufacturer’s dealers and chat with IPSPE attendees.
“We’ve never had anything like this at the national
show,” said Bob Lauter, CEO of Master Spas in Fort
Wayne, Ind. “Michael is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete,
and we think this is an opportunity for us to impact our
industry in a really major way. It’ll help grow the
interest in swimming, and it’ll help grow the interest
in swim spas.”
Master Spas has been manufacturing swim spas for the
past four years, and counts seven models among its
offerings. Recently, the prospect of partnering with a
global sports icon arose, and Lauter seized the
But the swimmer didn’t just lend his name to the
Phelps and coach Bob Bowman provided input on various
design elements of the new premium line, Lauter said.
Indeed, one model was engineered specifically with the
Olympian in mind — a swim area two feet longer than the
next largest, with a propulsion system 40 percent more
powerful than the standard.
“For the mere mortal, most of what we had would work,”
Lauter said. “But for an elite swimmer, we had to do
something special. So Michael and Bob were involved in
helping us figure out some of the technical challenges,
and to figure out how he could get in and swim, and use
it as an effective training tool.”
A Master Spas swim spa now is permanently installed at
Phelps’ training facility in Baltimore, Lauter added.
Beyond his athletic achievements, Phelps has long sought
to promote swimming, as well as an active lifestyle,
especially among children. To that end, he established
the Michael Phelps Foundation through a $1 million bonus
he received from sponsor Speedo after winning eight gold
medals at the 2008 Beijing Games.
The alliance with Master Spas is expected to further
“Michael’s goal outside of the pool is to grow the sport
of swimming,” said Peter Carlisle, Phelps’ agent and
managing director of Olympic and Action Sports at
marketing firm Octagon in New York.
“So, in the short term, it certainly helps to launch the
product and attract excitement around it,” he added.
“But from a macro-perspective, it really raises
mainstream awareness of this new product and how it can
help grow the sport and increase participation in
different ways — and that’s the kind of thing that gets