When you’re surrounded by controversy and suspended for PED use, sponsors start bailing. For Ryan Braun, who was suspended yesterday, it didn’t take long for the first sponsor to leave.
Braun was the face of a promotion for Kwik Trip, a privately owned brand of more than 400 stores based in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
But on Tuesday, Gary Gonczy, the company’s director of marketing and advertising, told ESPN.com that Kwik Trip has stopped all television and radio commercials and that the company no longer would use Braun as a spokesman. The Brewers’ star had been linked with the company for four years.
Braun’s suspension is without pay, so he’ll lose $3.25 million for missing the remainder of the season. As endorsement deals reevaluate their relationship Braun could lose more money.
Omar Shaikh, the president of SURG Restaurant Group, which owns Ryan Braun’s Graffito restaurant and two 8-Twelve MVP Bar and Grill, a sports bar with official deals with Braun and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, declined to comment about the status of his restaurants with Braun’s name and number on them.
A spokesman for Nike, which has a contract with Braun, could not immediately be reached.
But a Canadien company that makes and sells his RB8 bat will continue to work with Bruan.
“We’ve had a good relationship with Ryan and we don’t anticipate that changing at this point,” said Arlene Anderson, president of the company.