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So Just What Do You Have to Do to Upset a Corporate Sponsor Anyway?

Photo from News of the World.  Agree with the sentiment, though.

Photo from News of the World. Agree with the sentiment, though.

Wow.  Apparently having someone you’re paying millions of dollars to endorse your watches photographed smoking a bong while wearing one you made especially for him doesn’t even cause much of a row these days in the watch business. And Omega’s holiday party in Bienne must be a *blast.*

As reported by ESPN.com Omega seems wholly unperturbed by the incident in which Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Omega Ambassador Michael Phelps was recently photographed smoking marijuana while wearing what appears to be a diamond bezel Omega:

Omega said it was “strongly committed” to its relationship with Phelps, calling his Beijing accomplishments “among the defining sporting achievements in the history of sport.”

“The current story in the press involves Michael Phelps’ private life and is, as far as Omega is concerned, a nonissue,” the company said.

I wonder if they realized that it’s actually the watch they’re paying him considerable amounts of money to wear that he’s wearing in the photograph?  Perhaps they didn’t look closely enough?

I realize European attitudes toward cannabis use are generally more liberal than those in the US.  And in all honesty it doesn’t bother me all that much as it’s not unusual for young people to do stupid stuff and there are certainly far worse things a person could do.  It’s one thing though for Speedo, PureSport, Hilton Hotels, and other sponsors to stick with him — at least he wasn’t wearing their product right in the photo.  I mean, geez…

Olympic medalist swimmer Michael Phelps photographed smoking marijuana

Olympic medalist swimmer Michael Phelps photographed smoking marijuana while wearing his custom-made Omega Speedmaster Broadarrow with Mother-of-Pearl dial and diamond bezel. Photo from News of the World.

And Phelps: for crying out loud, a diamond bezel and MOP dial!?  Come on!  You do realize that Omega makes plenty of non-garish, much less ridiculous watches, right?

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Michael Phelps Suspended, Dropped by Kellogg’s | Rrryan's Watch Blog linked to this post on 06 February 2009

    […] the previously reported incident in which Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Omega Ambassador Michael Phelps was photographed allegedly smoking marijuana while wearing an Omega Speedmaster Reduced with diamond […]