In 2012, Lance Armstrong admitted to taking illegal drugs during his once-legendary cycling career. Since then, his popularity has fallen dramatically and every major sponsor has dropped him as an endorser.
As a cancer survivor, Armstrong did a lot of good work through the Livestrong Foundation that he founded — and raised a lot of money for cancer research and programs. At the time of Armstrong’s admission, the foundation stated that it would be able to succeed even in his absence. But, now it will have to find another revenue stream to replace the Nike Livestrong line of products.
According to a story by Juliet Macur for the New York Times: “Nike stuck by Tiger Woods in the wake of his infidelity and gave Michael Vick an endorsement deal after Vick had served time in prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring, which included killing dogs that underperformed. But, the company emphasized that there is one transgression it cannot tolerate: cheating. In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his record seven Tour de France titles, Nike took another step back from Armstrong and announced that it would stop manufacturing Livestrong-brand shoes and apparel at the end of this year. Nike, Livestrong’s main corporate backer, will continue to fulfill its financial obligations to Livestrong, the cancer foundation started by Armstrong, through 2014, but will not renew the partnership, Livestrong said. ‘Considering what the foundation had been through recently and the significant changes that have occurred, of course, the foundation’s leadership had to hope for the best but expect changes like this,’ said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for Livestrong. ‘Obviously, it’s a sad day, but it’s marked by the foundation’s deep gratitude to Nike.’”
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