Ryan Lochte has been dropped by four of his sponsors following his lie about a robbery in Rio that sparked a brief international incident implicating three of his teammates.
Speedo, Ralph Lauren, and even Gentle Hair Removal—the trifecta of perfect swimmer sponsorships, really—dumped Lochte in swift succession on Monday. Airweave, a Japanese company that makes mattress toppers, initially told Bloomberg they’d stand by their man, but followed the lead of Lochte’s other sponsors Monday afternoon.
Brands dropping their athlete partnerships is one of the more performative circuits on a scandal’s news cycle, but what Lochte did was unquestionably stupid, and he’ll have little brand power going forward largely due to age and declining notoriety. So whatever, let’s allow Darren Rovell his moment, too.
Airweave, which has a partnership with the USOC, didn’t mention the inciting incident, but said that “after careful consideration, we have made the decision to end our partnership with Ryan Lochte.”
Speedo’s statement said the company has “enjoyed a winning relationship with Lochte for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for.”
Ralph Lauren simply said Lochte’s contract was only for the duration of the Rio Olympics, but “the company will not be renewing his contract.”
Lochte’s lost partnership with Gentle Hair Removal, however, answers one question many of us have had during the Olympics: Shave, wax, or laser?