Romain Mesnil, a French pole vaulter, has instantly won me over with his stunt to try and attract new sponsors after he was dropped by Nike: He posted a video of himself running nude through Paris (video below).
The musclebound 31-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.
Mesnil, who won a silver medal at the 2007 Athletics World Championships, in Osaka, wrote on his website of Nike's decision not to renew his contract: "It was probably for budgetary and strategic reasons. It's the crisis."
Mesnil got himself shown on French TV, so his stunt succeeded in getting attention. And he certainly showed off his best assets. He could probably make a good living just charging for various X-rated videos of him and his pole. Or he could go more mainstream and get some fashion sponsors interested after seeing some of his photos on his website (samples below the video).