Olympic sponsorships are a fickle beast. Win 8 gold medals and celebrate by putting a bong to your lips and expect Kellogg’s and Subway to drop you like a hot potato. Break a world record and win the gold in diving, while being openly gay and expect your sponsors to– oh wait, you won’t get any sponsors– or such was the case for Australian diver Matthew Mitcham until this weekend, when telecom giant Telstra announced Mitcham would be their new boy.
Mitcham will write a weekly blog, as well as making personal appearances and launching products, which comes as a relief for the diver, since reaching Olympic glory doesn’t come cheap. For his part, Mitcham never blamed his sexuality for his troubles securing a sponsor, telling the Sydney Daily Telegraph:
“I was a little bit worried… so hopefully this will be a snowball effect, but I don’t want to count my chickens,” he said. “If I can get the opportunity where I would be able to train without having to worry about paying the bills, that would be the ultimate goal.”