In the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal it’s been estimated that he’s lost $30 million in future earnings as his sponsors have left him. It culminates an extraordinary few weeks in which Armstrong’s fall from grace has become very, very public.
But he’s not the only one to be on the receiving end of sponsors disdain.
Here are four other sportsmen (and one woman) who faced public embarrassment and career repercussions thanks to their actions on and off the field of sport.
Perhaps the most recent public shaming of a sportsman still plying his trade, Woods lost the sponsorship of several companies when details of his extra-marital affairs hit the newspapers. Accenture, Gillette, Gatorade, American Express, Golf Digest and Tag Heuer all left him but EA Sports Nike stuck with him.
Amazingly the man with most Olympic medals in history was on the receiving end of sponsor disappointment. In 2009 Phelps was photographed smoking from a marijuana pipe. Disciplined by US Swimming authority (suspended for three months), he lost a sponsorship deal with Kelloggs as a result of his indiscretion.
When allegations of sexual assault reared their head in 2003, Bryant was the subject of intense discussion. In an odd turn of events Bryant admitted adultery at a press conference but refuted claims of rape. Nike and McDonalds dropped him in a flash.
Not the only off-the-field problem that has dogged Rooney over the years this one was a result of launching an f-bomb into the camera after scoring against West Ham. Something of a comedown in terms of punishable indiscretions after reports the previous year of his tryst with two prostitutes in a hotel. Yikes.
Astonishing, mainly as it seemed to come out from nowhere, it emerged that Marion Jones (along with other US athletes) were guilty of illegal doping during the 2000 Olympics. Jones pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in prison. She lost all her sponsors.