US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is already suffering the financial consequences of his Rio mugging story.
All four of his major sponsors said today (Aug.22) they are ending their relationships with the 32-year-old swimmer. Speedo, which had a 10-year endorsement deal with Lochte expiring this year, said his behavior was “counter to the values” of the brand. It will donate a portion of the $50,000 it was to pay Lochte to Save the Children, benefiting kids in Brazil.
Speedo was the first of the Lochte’s major sponsors to officially end its deal with him. Shortly after, Polo Ralph Lauren announced it would not renew its contract with Lochte, though it said that deal was only intended to last through the games. As of Aug. 19, Lochte’s profile had apparently been taken down removed on the “Meet Our Athletes” page on Polo’s site and his image had been removed elsewhere.
Later today (Aug. 22), the parent company of Gentle Laser Hair Removal, Syneron-Candela, said it will also end its partnership with Lochte. Airweave Mattress then chimed in saying its deal with the swimmer was just for Rio and “after careful consideration” it decided to end its partnership with him.
The costs to Lochte aren’t huge in the sporting world, but they’re still significant. Industry sources estimate that Lochte has about $1 million in endorsement deals. Most Olympians also have a fairly short of window of time before and after the Olympics in which to really capitalize on the exposure the games create. But Lochte is currently “toxic” to sponsors who may have been thinking of signing him.
It’s a lot to lose over an ill-considered story that may have started with him not wanting to tell his mom the truth about his partying in Rio. Lochte has apologized for not being “careful and candid.”
This story was updated with the news of the decisions of Ralph Lauren, Syneron-Candela and Airweave Mattress.