'We didn't dump Sally': Rebel responds to backlash
Sally Pearson at the 2012 Olympics and Kyly Clarke, at the Allan Border Medal count earlier this month.
Sporting retailer Rebel Sport has reached out to Sally Pearson following the news the Olympic Gold medalist has been dumped by a sponsor.
“Can't believe I would actually lose sponsors rather than gain them after winning the Olympic Games!!!” the Olympic gold medal winning hurdler tweeted.
If someone wants to give me Sally's number. I'd be happy to have a conversation with her.
The news Pearson had lost a sponsor when Kyly Clarke, wife of Australian Cricket captain Michael Clarke, was, in the same week, named as one of the official faces of Rebel Sport caused outrage on social media on Tuesday with many incorrectly claiming the sporting retailer replaced the world champion athlete with a WAG. Pearson was not sponsored by Rebel.
Can't believe I would actually lose sponsors rather than gain them after winning the Olympic Games!!! #sad— Sally Pearson (@sallyp100h) February 25, 2013
Hi everyone, thanks for all the support but please back off @rebelsport as I have never been in conversation with them about sponsorship— Sally Pearson (@sallyp100h) February 26, 2013
“I don't know who the sponsor is that dumped her [Pearson] but it's certainly not us,” Rebel Sport managing director Erica Berchtold told Fairfax.
“If someone wants to give me Sally's number. I'd be happy to have a conversation with her. I don't even know how to get in contact with her.”
Ms Berchtold said the retailer is looking to increase their involvement with female athletes as Mrs Clarke is not the only face of Rebel Sport.
“We are happy to have a talk to Sally. We represent so many different sports, we don't want to pigeon hole ourselves into just dealing with the 'pretty girls' or just the fashion or just the football players or just the cricket players.”
Ms Berchtold said gaining accessibility to professional female athletes is difficult but would welcome any professional sportswoman approaching the company to discuss branding opportunities.
“The brands themselves tend to be stacked a little more heavily with male sports stars and a lot of our access to athletes are actually via our trade partners, we're asking them 'have you got someone we can use in an ad or a campaign?'”
She said the Sport for Women's conference, which is taking place in Canberra on Wednesday, is a great initiative for female athletes to learn how to build a brand which can fund, support and enhance their performance on the track or field.