U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte has managed to find a brand that still wants to sponsor him after he admitted to making up a story about being robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics earlier this month.
The swimmer has signed a deal with Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops, Adweek reported.
Lochte confirmed the deal on Twitter, saying: “Thanks to all the folks at pine bros. [sic] for your confidence in me. I look forward to making you proud.”
He will appear in a commercial and print ads for the brand that will include the tagline: “Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops: Forgiving On Your Throat.”
It's not a huge brand and it’ll unlikely be a major campaign, but the timing is perfect for the company to get maximum exposure as Lochte dominates the headlines.
In a statement, Pine Bros. CEO Rider McDowell said: “We all make mistakes, but they’re rarely given front-page scrutiny. He’s a great guy who has done incredible work with charities. I’m confident that Pine Bros. fans will support our decision to give Ryan a second chance.”
The announcement came on the same day Lochte was reportedly charged by Brazilian police over the false robbery claim. Brazil’s Justice Department is summoning Lochte back to Rio to appear in court for a hearing about the incident, which he has since described as an “over-exaggeration.”
Reports and security footage have since appeared to show that the events of that evening actually stemmed from an altercation with security staff at a gas station where he and his teammates had stopped to use the bathroom. Lochte and his teammates reportedly damaged the gas station and were stopped by armed security when they attempted to leave. Security reportedly demanded money for the damages, which the swimmers paid in cash.
Lochte has since apologized over the incident, saying in a statement that he accepted “responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.”
Lochte has lost all his major sponsors over the episode, with Speedo, Ralph Lauren, mattress company Airweave, and Gentle Hair Removal parent company Syneron-Candela all announcing they were dropping ties with the athlete on Monday.