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Under Armour

We know we can't be Michael Phelps, so why do we care what brand he wears?

We know we can't be Michael Phelps, so why do we care what brand he wears?

You are not Michael Phelps. I am not Michael Phelps. We will never be Michael Phelps.

Save for those already on track for Olympic superstardom, there's little chance of achieving anything close to what Phelps has.

Come on. We know this. What he wears doesn't matter.

Yet Under Armour does not sponsor Phelps out of charity. Nike does not sink millions into Team USA out of civic duty.

There's obviously a return on investment for the sponsors or the money — our money — would dry up. Like fish inexorably drawn to the improbable underwater presence of an earthworm, we take the bait.

"I can tell you that endorsements do work … though there are...