Losing It All After Winning Big

Last week the U.S Anti-Doping Agency released a thousand page report on Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal.  The now retired cyclist hit headlines hard in late August when he was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France medals and was issued a lifetime ban from cycling. Since the story released, Armstrong’s four major lucrative sponsors have taken away their sponsorships one by one.

Nike dropped Armstrong earlier this week due to his disgrace.  Nike released this statement “Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him.”

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The brewing company Anheuser-Busch also said it was ending its relationship with Armstrong when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Oakley Inc. and Radio Shack are waiting for the final decision from sport’s international authorities before conducting their final decision.  The other two sponsors that have immediately ended their relationships with Armstrong are Trek Bicycles and FRS, the energy drink maker.

Lance Armstrong has stepped down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer support charity that he founded.  His foundation is widely known for the 70 million yellow wristbands that were distributed worldwide.  His charity raises money not for research but to help cancer survivors with employment, financial obligations, insurance problems, and access to care, especially in third world countries.

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So far, donations have increased despite the Armstrong’s scandal.  Lance Armstrong released a statement on Wednesday stating “To spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”

The road for Armstrong seems far from over.  Currently, the Olympic Committee is considering taking away Armstrong’s 2000 Olympic bronze medal, which will surely endure more loss and humiliation for him.  Predictions say he will continue to lose more sponsorships and countless lawsuits will be released of breach of contract between the companies and Armstrong.

Meaghan Beam, Jessie Butner, Zach Abramo, Jack Lane

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15 thoughts on “Losing It All After Winning Big

  1. Hearing news such as this is saddening for athlete but more so for his admirers. Professional athletes are consistently in the spotlight and while that is a tremendous amount of pressure, it also comes with ethical responsibility. Most famous athletes tell stories of their role models who helped inspire them to become successful and its terrible when such a figure is involved in a scandal. Lance Armstrong has a substantial amount of followers who I am sure are crushed by his ethical choices but it goes to show people will do anything to win. Hopefully this story will inspire ethical responsibility in aspiring athletes to not act in such a way but rather to work hard and earn the success ethically.

  2. Lance Armstrong is a classic case of how a brilliant brand can go downhill. Unfortunately for Armstrong, his negative publicity created a now negative brand. Armstrong is a great example of how branding is more than fast moving consumer goods. Because of Armstrong’s negative publicity, he is now banned from cycling and many of his sponsorships. In class we learned that public relations are part of IMC because of all and any communication that can affect the relationship between Lance himself and its publics. I hope that Lance’s PR specialist can help him make his brand much more positive.

  3. I had a co-worker tell me he now has as many Tour de France titles as Lance Armstrong. While it was funny, it is also saddening and disappointing. Lance Armstrong has overcome and achieved great things in he personal life and career. However, the evidence points to the fact that he used enhancing drugs, which threatens his credibility and smears his cycling achievement. I think stepping down as chairperson from the foundation was a respectable move. From a PR standpoint, I think it shows that Armstrong cares about the success and image of the foundation. With his image compromised and the controversy still brewing, he does not need to be representing the organization, at least for now.

  4. It is a sad day for Lance and even Nike for that matter. After Nike cut their ties with Lance, that would only lead someone to believe they will discontinue the livestrong line of athletic gear and clothing. I do not exactly know what percent of livestrong sales made up Nike profit but I know it is a good amount. What Lance did was so bad in the eyes of Nike, they were willing to lose millions of dollars by dropping him. I know it had to be hard for Armstrong to step down from the foundation he created but it was what was best for the integrity of the foundation.

  5. This whole Lance Armstrong situation is just another sad but true reality of today’s sports world. I hate that steroids and performance enhancement drugs are used by athletes in almost every sport (or every sport for all we know). As a kid growing up I didn’t cycle or take biking serious, however I did idolize Lance Armstrong and his ability to dominate a sport. There was Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Lance Armstrong. Granted none of these guys are perfect off their respective playing fields, they all dominated their game like no athlete before them was ever able to. Unlike the other two though, with Lance Armstrong there was a catch. He defeated cancer which made his story even more miraculous at first, but then the truth surfaced. He was doping the whole time. His performance was being enhanced and he was cheating not only himself but his millions of fans. That loss of credibility and display of bad character lead to him losing pretty much every one of his sponsors and endorsements as mentioned in the article. A man being fired from his own foundation just goes to show no one man is ever bigger than the team!

  6. I absolutely cannot believe this! Armstrong seems like such a great man. Maybe it’s best to strip him of his titles, but I do not agree with him stepping down as chairman for his foundation. He has done nothing but help A LOT of people, he deserves credit for that. Come on Armstrong… You may not have your titles, but you can certainly still help people who are struggling with illnesses. I think the people at Livestrong should be understanding of this. Do as your foundation title tells you… Live strong after accepting defeat. Start over and live a healthier life.

  7. Although I do agree with the call to revoke all of Lance’s medals/victories I still find myself on team ‘Armstrong’. There is no doubt in my mind that Lance Armstrong will remain a champion and his name will forever be known in cycling history (hopefully in a positive light).

  8. Cycling’s governing body Monday accepted the findings of a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report involving Lance Armstrong and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from competition for life. This just goes to show that every wrong has consequences. Yes, the fact that he over came cancer was like a miracle, but finding out that he had been doping the whole time doesnt impress me one bit. Performance enhancement drugs are used all over the U.S. in every sport. Greed is a terrible disease to have in the athletic world. Nike knew that they were going to lose a lot by dropping Armstrong, but they were not going to “sell out” and promote something that is wrong.

  9. The Lance Armstrong scandal is a prime example of how negative self-image of one person can influence a brand as a whole. Brands endorse athletes for a variety of reasons, but unethical behavior is not one of them. Lance Armstrong’s poor decisions stripped him of everything he has every worked for. In order to keep the prestige and reputation of their brand name, companies are releasing Armstrong from their sponsorship. I also agree that from a PR standpoint, Armstrong’s decision to step down as chairperson will better the image of the foundation.

  10. This is a terrible ending to a great story. Lance Armstrong himself has become a brand when you think cycling the only person you can think of is him. Lance ruined his brand and image. He was a miracle story, but ruined what he had all for the use of drugs and cheating. I think it’s crazy how he had to step down as chairmen, what a shame as a human being.

  11. This makes me so sad. Lance Armstrong is a champion, an incredible athlete, a leader, a founder, an inspiration, and most importantly a survivor. Now left stripped of his titles, his founding position, pretty much his dignity… and all for what? Our civilization is so focused on the idea of “stuff” and is so insecure. Lance was easily one of the best athletes in the history of all time and he still didn’t feel good enough that he had to cheat the system and use illegal substances. Will we as humans ever learn our lesson? What would our society look like if we focused all our energy on each other?

  12. I don’t know much about Lance Armstrong, except for the fact that he is famous for winning countless cycling races. Nevertheless, this is still a disappointment. It is sad that he would be stripped of his successes and for all the good he has done for his fans, not to mention the impact on so many people due to his LiveStrong Foundation.

  13. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Lance Armstrong has never been out of the spotlight since he won his titles, and with all the doping that has gone on with bikers it is just easier to make a declaration that he did it. I do think that Armstrong needs to apologize if he did dope so that he can begin to rekindle a relationship his fans very much so want to give him. Several baseball players took steroids but we still had it in our hearts to forgive them.

  14. It’s so disheartening to hear about all the scandals that surround Lance Armstrong. I am a fan of his and admire his determination and positive attitude during difficult times. Although it was very disappointing to find out about the drug use, I feel things have gotten a little out of hand. It would be one thing if the scandal was going on while he was actually doping ( along with almost every other cyclist) but now that he has overcome so much in his personal and professional life they decide to strip him of everything!? I just can’t agree with it.

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