As I reported earlier, Speedo dropped Ryan Lochte for lying about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Ralph Lauren didn’t exactly drop him, but they are done with him too. Lochte’s contract was up at the end of the Olympic games and they have decided not to renew.
“Ralph Lauren continues to proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody,” said the company’s statement. “Ralph Lauren’s endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the company will not be renewing his contract.”
Lochte and three other US swimming teammates said they had been robbed at gunpoint by thieves posing as cops, but an investigation revealed the four athletes allegedly vandalized a gas station (breaking their bathroom door) and urinated on the building. Authorities in Brazil denied any robbery took place. They say security brandished their guns to ensure the guys would not leave without paying for the damage or before police arrived. The guys paid an undisclosed amount of money.
On Friday, Lochte apologized in a statement, saying he should have been “more careful and candid” from the get-go. In the excerpt shown on NBC, Lochte said “I over-exaggerated that story and if I had never done that we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Lochte’s remaining endorsement deals are with Gentle Hair Removal and Airweave, a Japanese mattress manufacturer that has pledged to stand by him. According ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell, the remaining endorsements along with Ralph Lauren are worth $1 million. Losing Speedo was major as swimwear is obviously the biggest endorsement in a professional swimmer’s portfolio and they’ve been with Lochte for 10 years.