Not ‘football’, not ‘finance’ (maybe?) but certainly adored by ‘fans’ worldwide. An athlete’s story brings a change in my outlook.
Oscar Pistorious’ arrest for an alleged murder of his girlfriend remains a haunting prospect for all concerned. The depression and mental health issues witnessed in football, recently with Collymore and Speed, has increased an awareness in symptoms and side-effects. Many cannot appreciate the pressures associated with expectation and the constant focus in the public eye. Could this have broken the Legend on blades? There were signs of it getting too much when losing to a rival in London 2012.
M-Net, a South African TV Station has withdrawn all its brand association with Pistorious. Not that his wallet will be hit or needed in the place he may be destined to train in. Not surprisingly, his agent proclaims business as usual: “All sponsors are still on board, and they have given us their commitment towards Oscar, based on the relationships that they have formed with him over the past years,” said Peet van Zyl, who represents the double-amputee. “They are quite happy to allow the legal process to take its course before they make any other further and formal announcements on it.” This unlike the parallel disdain of sponsors of cyclist, Lance Armstrong, that are now suing for damages and return of their investments.
Pistorious’ sponsors include Nike and Oakley, neither of which were available for comment when contacted by the Associated Press, though are reportedly distancing themselves from any association. Of course, these events are exceptional but it does bring fresh debate to the pros and cons of sportsperson’s endorsement.