Evan Morgenstein, founder and CEO of several talent and corporate representation agencies including PMG Sports, CelebExperts and others has represented over 250 Olympic athletes who have won collectively over 150 Olympic medals including Mark Spitz, Dara Torres, Dominique Dawes and Phil Dalhausser. Morgenstein is a public speaker who has motivated entrepreneurs and small business executives about overcoming risk and fear as they build their futures.
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Let me start by saying I have known Ryan for the better part of 10 years plus and my personal opinion of him is that he is a very good guy, didn’t have the best people around him when he was younger and always needed to deal with his insecurities that lead him to treat people the way that he does.
Having said that, I can honestly see a pathway for Ryan to be successful and useful as a corporate spokesperson for various companies. He obviously made a mistake. But let’s evaluate that and decide if Ryan deserves a second chance. He was at an Olympics in Rio, got wasted with his buddies, on his way home needed to take a piss and failed to take his business indoors vs relieving himself in the open space of a corridor. Now on it’s face it is immature and stupid. But for God’s sake who hasn’t been drunk with your friends and just lost control of your senses. I have. And probably not as long ago as I would like to believe. Did he vandalize a sign, yes. Does he deserve public scorn for going on TV drunk and lying, no doubt.
But the question is, does Ryan Lochte have any juice left in the tank as a corporate spokesperson? No Question! Listen, Ryan represents all the millennials out there that don’t give a s*** about authority and want to stick it to the man for trying to control them. Now is Pine Bros a good move? I think ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Truth is, it’s a stupid play for a company that sells almost exclusively to moms. Moms are not thinking Ryan Lochte is a good role model even if their kids love him for being quirky, funny and off the hook.
Companies like tech/electronics are a perfect play for Ryan and his peeps as well as any brand that is about kicking ass and taking no prisoners like maybe a energy drink that has post hangover benefits would be a good fit. I think Uber should scoop him up and talk about using their services vs. driving when you are out with your friends would be ballsy but big. I think there are a lot of possibilities for Ryan including focusing on social media shoutouts for companies.
Ryan’s social media if significant, his voice is being heard and he absolutely has a fan base that looks, sounds and identifies with him. So he is a force to be dealt with if managed and marketed the right way. Time will tell if that is possible.
If Ryan cleans up his act, focuses on giving back (maybe a tour of swim clubs and YMCA’s doing free talks on making the right life choices) could elevate his brand to a new level. Let’s be clear, Ryan will never have an Olympic performance like he did in say London and win a ton of medals, those days have passed, but his viability as a corporate spokesperson is actually in his hands now and it will be interesting to see how he handles this opportunity.
Ryan, if you are reading this, or if someone is reading this to you, pick your head up. You are an American Olympic athlete that has made a mistake. Own it, deal with it, make yourself better and go out there and make us proud! Stop with the dumb*** antics. You have something special inside of you. It’s time to find that and use it to help others. You have been selfish long enough!
You can follow Evan Morgenstein on Twitter here.