Ralph Lauren Joins Speedo in Dropping Ryan Lochte After Rio Scandal
Speedo and Ralph Lauren have ended relationships with U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte, a decision that comes after the swimmer was accused of fabricating his tale of being robbed in Rio de Janeiro.
"Speedo USA today announces the decision to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte," the brand announced in a statement. "As part of this decision, Speedo USA will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte's fee to Save the Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA's parent company, for children in Brazil."
As for Ralph Lauren, the company said its endorsement agreement with Lochte "was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the company will not be renewing his contract."
Lochte and several fellow U.S. swimmers—James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz—initially told the media they had been robbed on the way home from a party Aug. 14. However, investigators have since said that the swimmers vandalized a gas station and then got into an altercation with security guards.
The swimmer has since apologized for his actions on social media, noting that he "should have been much more responsible in how [he] handled [himself]" and that he was sorry to his teammates, fans, fellow competitors, sponsors and Olympic hosts. He also told NBC's Matt Lauer that he "overexaggerated" the events.
Lochte's apologies and clarifications weren't enough to compel Speedo or Ralph Lauren into sticking with the star swimmer, though.
"While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan 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," the brand's statement said. "We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience."
Lochte's remaining sponsor is Airweave.
Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.