Matthew’s sponsorship problem – the truth.

When I posted about Matthew Mitcham’s lack of sponsorship I was vaguely aware of a situation but wasn’t sure what was public in formation and what wasn’t. Now, with this article on samesame it’s out.

AussieBum did offer Matt sponsorship months ago, which was effectively ignored by his management. You have to ask yourself why? The offer from AussieBum was a six figure deal and effectively secure employment as the face of the global company and a perfect fit for Matt. So why is his management turning down offers like this? Holding out for something better? Clearly that isn’t rushing to happen.

I hope something changes for Matt soon. He’s training 30+ hours per week and somehow eeking out a living as well.

10 Responses to “Matthew’s sponsorship problem – the truth.”


  1. 1 JimmyD

    Seems that homophobia has taken a back seat to poor management.
    Maybe Matthew needs better management and representation on the non-sports side of things.
    You know they are thinking about their bottom dollar over Matthew’s career. Sad but true. He’s nothing but a product to be sold to the highest bidder.
    On the other hand, if Matthew is truly holding out for something less mainstream… that could take a little longer.
    Why they’d turn down Aussibum is a complete mystery!

  2. 2 Jeremy

    I would say 2 things:

    1. “6 figures” can be a lot… or not actually that much when you think of sponsorships, so I can sort of understand if they offered him say 150K if he said no thanks.

    2. However, I wonder if it actually might be a bit of internalized discrimination — ie that doing Aussiebum might ‘ghettoize’ him as gay. Like he was hoping for a more ‘mainstream’ (ie straight) sponsorship option. Alas, this only reinforces the problem with gay athletes and sponsorship.

    Caveat: I know nothing of the Aussiebum offer, Matthew’s management, and certainly nothing of his own mind, so the above is just idle conjecture. I certainly hope that he DOES get a bigtime sponsorship, lots of $, and the high profile that comes with them to make a positive difference for gays of all stripes, in Australia and everywhere.

  3. 3 Cavalier

    Maybe he needs new management or is there something we are not being told here. Seems odd to me.

  4. 4 chad

    it’s an underwear company for pete’s sake!

  5. 5 Rich

    $150k isn’t a huge amount for sponsorship, but when it’s put in the context that the average annual salary in Sydney is $50,000, it looks pretty good. Many families live on about $50,000.

    Having trained as a dancer years ago I was expected to put in between 5 and 7 hours a day and live on a student grant of just 3,000 GBP a year, work weekends and evening and complete a degree, I would have grabbed the $150,000 just to concentrate on what I was passionate about. Many of my friends still dancing professionally with great companies still earn a lot less than this. In ideal world he’d be paid a lot more so he can stay at the top of his profession, but he’s chosen a sport with a small following.

  6. 6 DAVE

    We dont know what the deal was, i would guess aussiebum, who are quite a nasty company, would want to ‘own him’. They would do their best to destroy his career so aussiebum could be greater than he. And who would want to be owned by aussiebum. UGH VOMIT UGH.

  7. 7 simon

    Aussie bum would want their pound of flesh, that’s for sure. The idea of a sponsorship is so an athlete can train and not have to work, Aussiebum would want him to put in a good 40hr week at least. Aussiebum are vile, who would work for them?

  8. 8 Kindsay

    Maybe Matthew decided that it just wasn’t enough for him once you take out the commission of his managers. Some people once they reach the top get a complex about themselves.

  9. 9 michael

    I was reading in the Sunday Telegraph this morning that Telstra have come on board to sponsor him!!

  10. 10 A. Lurker

    With all due respect Brenton, the fact YOU like Aussiebum and like Matthew Mitcham doesn’t make them a “perfect fit” at all. Aussiebum has a brand image at odds with that which most professional athletes wish to portray. If Rebecca Adlington received an offer to pose for Agent Provocateur, do you imagine she’d do it? No. Those sportspeople who’ve done underwear campaigns (like Pat Rafter) almost invariably represent mainstream, worn by mum & dad, stocked by K-mart brands. Mitcham’s management have, to their credit, done the same for him as they would for any other client.

    Was Mitcham one name on a list of olympians Aussiebum planned to approach? Or did they just think he might do it because he’s gay?

    And doesn’t that make them, in their own way, as bad as all the ‘usual suspects’ who effectively ignored Mitcham for the same reason?

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