I’m still not sure if Ryan Lochte was actually robbed in Rio de Janeiro.
The U.S. Olympic swimmer certainly exaggerated his version of events during a late-night rest stop, leaving out parts about urinating on and tearing a poster from the side of a gas station. Still, armed security guards did demand money from him and his friends. The whole controversy was ridiculous.
But it wasn’t enough to stop a company committed to crime prevention from signing Lochte, even if every major corporation associated with the three-time silver medalist dropped him as a sponsor.
Actually, because Speedo, Ralph Lauren and others canned Lochte in the aftermath of his disgraceful behavior at the Summer Olympics, the soon-to-be “Dancing With the Stars” contestant and Robocopp are a corporate fit. When you boil it down, they’re both desperate enough to benefit from the other.
Billed as a “sound grenade,” the handheld device activates an “SOS alarm” when a pin is pulled, supposedly sending would-be robbers running scared and alerting anyone within shrieking distance, much like panic alarms before it. The idea is the equivalent of remaking “RoboCop” as a movie.
“I’ve been traveling a lot lately,” Lochte said in a sponsored Instagram video, looking as if he’s still being held at gunpoint “We all like to have fun, but it’s a good idea to stay safe. I don’t go anywhere without Robocopp. It’s this tiny device. All you do is pull the pin, and it releases a startling alarm that can get you out of a bad situation.”
In turn, Robocopp public relations director Jill Turner said Lochte “remains one of the greatest athletes of our generation,” although she opted not to comment when Time Magazine asked if the device would have helped the swimmer in Rio. Exaggeration seems to follow Lochte at every turn.
The video received more than 350,000 views in its first 20 hours, so Robocopp successfully capitalized on Lochte’s every-four-years of fame, and he made up for the cash he lost at that Rio gas station.