Marketing Olympians

United States' Nastia Liukin, here at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, is one of the lucky athletes to have about nine sponsors over the last four years, a rare feat.

All athletes at the London Olympics have gold on their mind. Every athlete there would love to be the next Bruce Jenner, Mary Lou Retton and that swimmer guy -- athletes who won gold and green through their athletic successes.

Sports agent Evan Morgenstein of PMG Sports breaks down the business of the Olympics. Getting the gold is just one part of the equation to scoring lucrative sponsorships, like Nike and that Wheaties box. What sport you're in, how compelling your personal story is and even when you medal play into whether an athlete will make money off their successes.

Even though millions of dollars in advertising is put into the Olympics, Morganstein said in the end, the athletes get shafted.

"Unfortunately, the financial system of the Olympics is just a mess," he said. "There is truly no trickle down of substance for the athletes."

Listen to the interview above to learn more about the athletes' economy and a little secret about the Wheaties box.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

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