The 12-time Olympic medalist has lost all four major endorsement deals after his tale of his alleged robbery at gunpoint in Rio enraged local officials. Fred Katayama reports.
(Reuters) – Financial fallout after a scandal for American swimmer Ryan Lochte. The 12-time Olympic medalist has now lost all four of his big endorsement deals. Just one day after the Rio Games came to a close, sponsors one after another said they would end their partnerships. Japanese mattress maker Airweave late Monday joined swimwear maker Speedo USA, luxury retailer Ralph Lauren and Canadian hair removal company Syneron Candela in scrapping their sponsorship deals. Ralph Lauren began distancing itself last week when it stopped featuring the Olympian on its website.
Burns Entertainment and Sports Marketing CEO Bob Williams said, “Advertisers are being very proactive in their marketing versus being reactive. It’s really about who’s going to be marketable three years from now. Ryan’s not going to be on that short list anymore.”
The companies took action even though Ryan apologized on Saturday for what he called an “exaggerated” story about his being robbed at gunpoint at a gas station with three other American athletes. He stopped short of saying he had lied. His tale of the alleged robbery, which Brazilian authorities said was a fabrication, embarrassed Rio and angered local officials.