Ryan Lochte gets second billing in SharkFest promo for NatGeo Wild

Michael Phelps is the most decorated swimmer ever, and he’s pulling a huge stunt this Sunday (July 23) during Shark Week by racing a Great White Shark on the Discovery Channel. Ryan Lochte has plenty of medals as well, but often is referred to as the second best in the water compared to Phelps.

A new campaign for SharkFest by NatGeo Wild – the competitor to Shark Week – features Mr. Second Best, Lochte, in a humorous spot that has the swimmer in a tiny boat in the ocean.

The self-deprecating promo shows Lochte bobbing up and down in what appear to be shark infested waters as a ‘chum guy’ ladles blood into the water. A voiceover says that Lochte is the second best swimmer and that SharkFest is the “second best known shark event on TV”. As the voice states that there are no points for second, Lochte answers that he wins golds too and holds a world record.

The voice continues, saying that SharkFest embraces second place before asking Lochte to swim with the sharks.

Director Jordan Brady commented: “I saw the humor in having Ryan speaking to the chum guy and tapped my long-time collaborator Arsenal Creative to add CG shark fins. The appearance of sharks was crucial. They nailed it.

"We shot on a boat with a jib arm to get the camera close to the picture boat. It had to look like we were in rough waters that were plausible for sharks.”

The promo will run on Nat Geo Wild during SharkFest, which begins Sunday, July 23 at 8pm in the US.

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Kyle O'Brien

I am a reporter for The Drum covering a wide array of topics but always trying to tell the best stories possible. I am a former west coaster from California and Portland, Oregon, now living in Pennsylvania — with time spent in NYC each week.

I also play saxophone professionally.

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