Back in December, it was announced that US swimmer Ryan Lochte would become an official brand ambassador for a Japanese mattress company that he was reportedly using while preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
At the time, the company was proud to introduce the decorated Olympian as the face of their brand. The December 9, 2016 PR Newswire rang out, “Today, Airweave, the Japanese creator of top-selling premium bedding toppers and pillows, proudly announced that Ryan Lochte, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, is now the global brand ambassador for Airweave.”
— airweave USA (@airweaveUSA) March 18, 2016
At the time, Lochte said (presumably through a written statement):
“I train almost every day and that certainly takes a toll on me physically. When I started sleeping on Airweave, I found an improvement in my recovery time. I sleep deeper and wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to push myself in the pool. I’m thrilled to be an Airweave ambassador and tell the world about their revolutionary products. You spend one third of your life in bed, so why wouldn’t you want to improve your sleep?”
Flash forward to the actual games themselves, and Lochte has secured for himself a gold medal in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay in addition to a gold medal in PR disasters, a silver in lying to law enforcement, and a solidly-deserved bronze medal for creating an international sh*tstorm of unnecessary headlines due to what appears to be a drunken night out with his pals.
But, Airweave isn’t blinking on this sleeper.
The founder and CEO of the company, Motokuni Takaoka, said in an email statement yesterday, “I respect the athletic performance of Ryan, and as long as he is a respectable athlete, he will remain the U.S. ambassador for Airweave as long as our partnership agreement remains effective. We are focused on supporting Team USA and our support to them will remain the same.”
Airweave is also a partner for the U.S. Olympic Committee and will sponsor the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In addition to swimming, the Japanese company sponsors U.S. Volleyball, and, “provided some Olympic athletes with travel mattresses for the Rio Games,” according to AdAge.
Speedo, another one of Lochte’s key endorsements, hasn’t been so speedy to reach a decision either regarding its embattled star. “Speedo is following the situation, and has a policy not to comment on ongoing legal investigations,” a brand spokeswoman said.
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