Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Ryan Lochte wins 'pariah medley' -- loses all 4 endorsement deals


The individual medley in swimming is one of Ryan Lochte's best events, having won the Olympic gold medal in the 400 IM in London in 2012. Consider what happened Monday the Olympic pariah medley, because Lochte just won fools gold in that event.

Lochte's case of felony stupidity -- which included him lying about getting robbed at gun point at the Rio Olympics and then staying silent for days while three of his teammates twisted in the wind -- lost four of his endorsement deals Monday. He only had four endorsement deals to start with.

So Lochte suddenly has a lot of time on his hands and he may actually have to start buying his own swimsuits ... and clothes ... and hair removal products ... and mattresses.

First to the wall was Speedo at approximately 11 a.m. Then came Ralph Lauren, then Gentle Hair Removal, then Airweave. Everybody in the pool! Or in this case, out of the pool.

Seldom, if ever, has a celebrity endorser suffered such a dramatic fall for reasons other than cheating (performance enhancing drugs) or a criminal act considered so heinous that corporate partners  had no choice but to push them out the door.

Lochte falsely reported a crime -- "Over-exaggerated," he said, because he couldn't bring himself to say "lie" -- but more than anything else he was just an idiot, for reasons still partly unknown. He was only made to look worse after Georgia swimmer Gunner Bentz a nd others came out with detailed public statements while Lochte stayed silent, then went on NBC and fumbled an apology.

A suspension likely is coming from the IOC, the USOC and/or USA Swimming. But in the short-term, Lochte suddenly may actually have to work for a living. He has lost potential millions of dollars in endorsement deals. Lochte's deals in 2012 reportedly grossed him $2.3 million. His take during this Olympic year reportedly was less than that.

Here's the rundown of fleeing sponsors:

Speedo at 11:06 a.m.:

Then came Ralph Lauren:

Here was Lochte 11 days earlier:

Then came Syneron-Candela's "Gentle Hair Removal":

By the way, this was Lochte on the product just five days ago, via the company's Twitter site:

 

Then came Airweave mattresses:

Any company that was considering signing Lochte to a deal can get him at a discount now.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.