Twelve-time, Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte had no other option than to trade his swimming trunks and exclusive modeling jobs for cough drop ads and dancing shoes in order to repair his tarnished public image after his recent Rio de Janeiro scandal.
On August 14, 2016, Lochte revealed in an interview during the Olympic Games that he and three of his teammates were robbed at gunpoint by men dressed as police on an early morning in Rio. After he reported these statements, Brazilian law enforcement countered these allegations saying Lochte’s story is more fiction than fact. Police said Lochte and his teammates’ stopped at a gas station and workers confronted them about paying for property damage after exhibiting disruptive behavior in the establishment. Because the athletes did not want to comply, the workers called the police. Later in the week, Lochte responded to the accusations claiming his statements were false. He admitted to press that he did not describe the story faithful to the true events which occurred.
Since the contradictory stories have been released, Lochte has lost not only his credibility but also many of his sponsorships. Many marketing strategists are beginning to worry Lochte will never be able to regain the success he had with his sponsors considering he is approaching the retirement age for professional swimmers and the seriousness of the situation.
Speedo and Ralph Lauren are only two of the well-known corporations that have recently dropped Lochte from their advertising campaigns. Some smaller companies, on the other hand, have been reaching out to Lochte, hoping to use his endorsement for publicity while he tries to resuscitate his public image with any exposure he can get. This is the case for Pine Bros., a cough-drop company looking to help rehabilitate the swimmer’s reputation. The company will be using the clever tagline “Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops: Forgiving On Your Throat” for Lochte’s upcoming ad campaigns.
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” has also given Lochte a second chance. The reality show is one of the most well-known ways celebrities regain favor with the American public. Known for also successfully reviving careers such as that of Candace Cameron Bure and Alfonso Ribeiro, this show is the perfect place for Lochte to possibly pick up more endorsements.
Executive producer, Rob Wade, was asked about having Lochte on the show. “We use the show as a place where people can come on and tell their story,” Wade said. “It’s often a place where people can come and talk about things that have happened in their lives that are very positive and things that were more problematic.”
To watch his journey, be sure to watch “Dancing with the Stars” Season 23 premiere on Sept. 12.