PARIS, France -- A French pole vaulting champion ran naked with his pole through the streets of Paris and posted the video on the Internet, hoping to draw attention to his quest for a new sponsorship deal. Romain Mesnil, who won a silver medal at the Athletics World Championships in Osaka, was sponsored by Nike but says his contract expired last year and was not renewed. It's the crisis," he wrote on his Web site. Many athletes have reported difficulties obtaining corporate sponsorship as companies cut costs because of the global economic downturn.
Naked pole vaulter chases sponsor through streets of Paris
French pole vaulter runs naked through Paris | Reuters
As the global economic downturn begins to impact on the world of sport , one French athlete has come up with an unusual way to try to secure a new sponsorship deal. Pole-vaulting champion Romain Mesnil, whose contract with the sports brand Nike was not renewed when it expired last year, has run naked with his pole through the streets of Paris and posted a video of his caper online. The musclebound year-old is seen loping through the streets with his pole as if preparing for a vault at tourist spots like Montmartre and the Pont des Arts across the river Seine. A black square has been tactfully added to the footage to cover his private parts.
VIDEO: Naked pole vaulter's shock sponsorship tactics
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