Aug 5, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Usain Bolt (JAM) celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 100m final during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium.
Michael Phelps, Swimming
Greatest. Olympian. Ever. That tagline should carry Phelps comfortably even as he steps away from the sport. MORE: Who topped the Olympic medal count?
Allyson Felix, Track and Field
The marketing potential was always there for Felix. The problem? The Olympic gold wasn’t there to match. But after settling for silver in the 200 meters in both 2004 and 2008, Felix finally got the gold medal she’d been chasing her entire career. As a result, the other kind of gold should follow. MORE: Full Olympics results.
Usain Bolt, Track and Field
Granted, Bolt already has an endorsement or two. But even though his image was almost inescapable in London, he isn’t as big a household name in the United States. After turning in an electric performance in a second-straight Olympics, that should change. MORE: Olympic athletes are becoming stars in London. Find out what makes them tick.
Alex Morgan, Soccer
Going into the games, Morgan was touted as the new face of US soccer. And with that last-second game-winner against Canada in arguably the most exciting match of the games (regardless of sport), she didn’t disappoint. As several veteran players prepare to step aside, Morgan should assume a bigger role, both on the pitch and as a pitchman. MORE: Who's leading the Olympic medal count?
Andy Murray, Tennis
You could make the case that Murray is the most under-marketed big-time athlete in the world. Of course, you also could have made the case that it was because he had yet to come through with a win in a big-time event. Well, winning a gold medal at Wimbledon is pretty big time. Plus, his dogs look ready for Internet fame. MORE: Full Olympics results.
Serena Williams, Tennis
Given what Williams already has accomplished in the sport, it was going to be awfully difficult for her to raise her profile any higher. But the career Golden Slam will do that. And that Crip Walk celebration at Wimbledon shouldn’t hurt her, given the controversies she’s already weathered in her career. MORE: See all of the gold medals won by Americans so far.
Yohan Blake, Track and Field
Even if Blake is the second-best sprinter in Jamaica, that’s still pretty elite company to be keeping. He trains with Bolt, so that association won’t hurt, either. And at present time, his portfolio is almost non-existent. So it has nowhere to go but up, up, up. MORE: Who's leading the Olympic medal count?
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Beach Volleyball
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings already were pretty recognizable, given that they were the back-to-back Olympic champions in a pretty photogenic sport. Now? They’ve officially wandered into Olympic legend status with their third straight gold. Walsh Jennings' status as a relatively new mother won’t hurt, either. MORE: Full Olympics results.
Ryan Lochte, Swimming
Lochte didn’t have the Phelps-ian meet that many were expecting. And his public persona won’t exactly play with some advertisers (his mom even said all he has time for are one-night stands). But his movie-star good looks and personal style (did you see the diamond grill?) certainly will appeal to some companies. MORE: See all of the gold medals won by Americans so far.
Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics
History is on Douglas’ side, having just become the first American woman to win both the team and all-around competitions in the same Olympics. Her games ended on a bit of a down note (eighth-place finishes in her two individual events and mini controversies about her hair and her mom’s bankruptcy), but that shouldn’t be enough to tarnish those historic golds. MORE: Who's leading the Olympic medal count?
Cullen Jones, Swimming
Jones’ personal history — he almost drowned as a child before becoming an Olympic swimmer with a mission to teach minorities how to swim — made him a compelling figure heading into these games. Now he’s got three more medals to go with that back story. MORE: Full Olympics results.
Aly Raisman, Gymnastics
Another member of the Fierce Five (is that OK, Jalen Rose?), Raisman leaves these games with more hardware than any other US gymnast. She also endeared herself to the Jewish-American community with her public support of a moment of silence for the Israeli victims of the 1972 terrorist attack in Munich. MORE: See all of the gold medals won by Americans so far.
Matt Grevers, Swimming
Like teammate Nathan Adrian, Grevers should be back (and better than ever) in Rio. And he was pretty good in London, winning the 100 backstroke in Olympic record-setting fashion to go with a pair of relay medals. He’s also got a female-friendly story to tell: He proposed to his fiancé, fellow swimmer Annie Chandler, from the medal podium at the Missouri Grand Prix. MORE: Who's leading the Olympic medal count?
Richards-Ross has got a cool title (the world’s fastest woman), a new gold medal and an NFL hubby (Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross). That combination should create an opportunity or two for her. MORE: Full Olympics results.
Nathan Adrian, Swimming
Adrian was relatively unknown heading into these games. He’ll likely head into the next Olympics expected to be one of the biggest stars. That’s what happens when you win two golds (one in the high-profile 100 freestyle) and a silver. Advertisers should want to jump on the next big thing early. MORE: See all of the gold medals won by Americans so far.
Lolo Jones, Track and Field
No, Lolo didn’t win a medal. Yes, she made more headlines for her status as the games’ most outspoken virgin, her inappropriate tweeting and her tears than she did on the track. But an inordinate amount of time was spent talking about Jones during the games. And if you’re an advertiser, that has to count for something. MORE: Who's leading the Olympic medal count?
Ashton Eaton, Track and Field
Once upon a time, a good-looking youngster who could claim to be the greatest athlete in the world by virtue of his gold in the 1976 decathlon became a marketing juggernaut. Well, assuming Eaton walks away with the gold — and there’s no reason to assume otherwise after Day 1 — he’s got the potential to be positively Jenner-esque. MORE: Full Olympics results.
Dana Vollmer, Swimming
Vollmer’s showing at the London Games may have been overshadowed by flashier swimmers like Phelps, Lochte and Missy Franklin, but it shouldn’t have been. Vollmer scored three golds, including a world record-setting performance in the 100 butterfly. She’s also got a look that companies should love to go with all that hardware. MORE: See all of the gold medals won by Americans so far.
Kevin Durant, Basketball
If Durant can follow up an NBA Finals appearance with a gold medal, his portfolio should grow accordingly. It doesn’t hurt that he’s arguably the NBA’s most likable superstar and doesn’t carry any of the baggage that Team USA teammates and NBA rivals LeBron James and Kobe Bryant do. MORE: Who's leading the Olympic medal count?
Tyler Clary, Swimming
Clary very easily could have been remembered as the guy who tweaked Michael Phelps. Instead, he’ll go down as an Olympic champion and the man who took down Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter backstroke (in Olympic record fashion, no less). His grasp of social media — he live tweeted with fans while NBC was showing his race on tape delay back in the States — could make him attractive to advertisers. MORE: Full Olympics results.