But I am drawing the line at “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” on the E! network. Chances are, you’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve even stumbled upon an episode. There’s certainly been no shortage of mockery and ridicule.
Here’s what we know about Lochte. He’s an accomplished athlete. He’s easy on the eyes. And let’s be honest, those two things alone have propelled many an athlete to stardom. He’s also not the first athlete to enter the reality television orbit.
But there’s so much we don’t understand about Lochte. Why would he parlay his budding stardom into a show of this quality – particularly on the heels of the Olympics? Where are his trusted advisors and mentors to steer him in a better and more strategic direction? And perhaps most important, what kind of brand is Lochte trying to promote?
So, what should Ryan Lochte do?
- Define his brand. He should think in terms of how he wants to be known when his time competing in the pool is over. What he has now is not working. A quick Web search shows a clear consensus and it’s not flattering.
- Undergo media training. This is a must for elite athletes, let alone those with their own television shows.
To be fair, Lochte does have his defenders. But instead of “brilliance,” I see missed opportunity. I was asked last summer to name an athlete whose brand needed help. Lochte and his American flag dental grill immediately came to mind. And that was before his reality show.