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in the spotlight

Lance Armstrong Loses Seven Titles In One Blow

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 22, 2012 10:01 AM

It took years of work and sacrifice to win seven straight Tours de France, but it only took a minute for all seven to be taken off the record of the now-disgraced Lance Armstrong.

The announcement finally came Monday morning that cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union (which couldn't catch Armstrong red-handed through 218 tests) was erasing the famed rider’s slate since there was plenty of evidence that Armstrong himself hadn’t exactly been clean during his cycling days, and was banning him for life from competing in the sport.

The man who made the Nike anti-doping commercial above has denied it vehemently, of course, but his fellow riders have one by one decided to talk about what they saw him do and how they were, well, Strongarmed into cooperating, as the New York Times reported in a damning recap of their testimony.In the wake of the ICU decision, one of Armstrong's last remaining sponsors — Oakley — announced it's severing ties with the cyclist.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Nike Shoe Drops as Lance Armstrong Resigns From Livestrong [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2012 10:29 AM

A week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency let loose a thousand pages of painful details about how Lance Armstrong and pretty much every other top American bicycle pro of the last decade doped, Nike has finally released its own news on the matter.

Following a protest at its Beaverton, Ore., HQ yesterday, Nike this morning confirmed it's dropping the athlete with two terse paragraphs, serving up a serious financial blow to Armstrong even though still continuing to support the Livestrong philanthropic brand he founded. The sports giant just released a limited-edition collection to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Livestrong, which promotes cancer awareness and healthy living, as part of a licensing deal that will continue.

Just as Joe Paterno's name was scrubbed from the Nike campus, Armstrong will also see his name removed from the fitness center on the Nike campus in Oregon, as CNN is reporting that Nike will remove his name from the building. In tandem with Nike's news, the disgraced cyclist also announced this morning that he was stepping down from his role as chairman of Livestrong.

The news prompted a mass exodus from Team Armstrong. On the heels of Nike's announcement, sponsor Anheuser-Busch announced it's dropping the cyclist when his deal as a Michelob Ultra brand ambassador ends on Dec. 31st. The Giro brand, which produced a custom $15,000 bike helmet for Armstong's 2010 Tour de France race and a branded line of helmets, also quit Team Armstrong, along with the Honey Stinger brand and, as the Wall Street Journal reports, RadioShack .

In all, Bloomberg estimates that Armstrong stands to lose $30 million as his sponsors flee.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Molson Coors Adds Iced Tea and Citrus to Goose Beer Sales

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 7, 2012 10:07 AM

Molson Coors makes almost all of its sales in Canada, the U.S., and Great Britain, so it's no surprise that the brewer is looking to expand internationally. The Chicago-based company is also developing new products to entice those new markets.

Case in point: an iced tea brew called Coors Light Iced T, which it unveiled in a presentation on Tuesday to analysts. "The citrus-like, iced tea-flavored beer will have roughly 4% alcohol content but no caffeine," the Wall Street Journal notes. The drive to innovate and develop new products is simple. "Someone else is eating our lunch in the alcohol space," Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn told analysts.

The tea brewski will be found in Molson's homeland of Canada first, according to Reuters, “where consumers are interested in flavored beers,” and could end up appearing on U.S. shelves in time as well. Reuters reports that Molson Coors will also introduce the citrus-flavored Carling Zest, which will be sold for a limited time, as well as an autumn-inspired Leinenkugels beer.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Slumping at Home, Beer Brands Look to China

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 18, 2012 08:05 PM

Beer me! Or, as they are saying in Ohio, "Yuengling Me!" The Dayton Business Journal reports that Ohioans have been gulping down so much of the Pennsylvania-made beer that D.G. Yuengling & Son is now America's largest brewer. (Suck it, Boston Beer Co.)

But Ohio boozehounds appear to be the outliers. Last year was a sobering year for beer sales, with shipments at their lowest level in the US since 2003. Global beer shipments flattened out by 2.9 million barrels, a drop of 1.4 percent from 2010. So brewers are looking to that same group everyone looks to for a bailout: China. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Avon, Weight Watchers, Hyundai & more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2011 09:02 AM

In the News

Anheuser-Busch InBev tries a tea-lemonade "light alcohol" drink for Michelob.

Ann Taylor woos younger women by featuring stylish students.

Avon replacing Andrea Jung as CEO.

Best Buy finds that deep discounts sacked profits.

Canadian Tire buys house in Toronto just for webisodes.

China plans to impose duties on U.S.-imported cars, ratcheting up trade tiff.

Chrysler picks up sales and financial momentum while parent Fiat treads cautiously.

CNN rehires Christiane Amanpour, who will continue to contribute to ABC News.Continue reading...

next steps

These Beers are Made for Walking

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 20, 2010 08:17 AM

Just how low can a beer go? In calories, that is. The battle for the healthy-minded beer drinker has just escalated as MGD 64 takes on 95-calorie Michelob Ultra.

Ultra has held the oxymoronic status as the king of "active lifestyle" beer, personified by an endorsement deal with celebrity cycler Lance Armstrong. Next they created an app that identifies bike and running paths and launched it on Facebook.

Not to be outdone, or outrun, MGD 64 has just launched its Facebook app with a branded pedometer. Group challenges like “Walk Up Mount Everest 64 times,” measure a user’s steps and then the app uploads the total.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Michelob ULTRA Lives (Arm)strong

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 7, 2009 01:10 PM

Lance Armstrong wants you to Live Strong, but that's no reason you can't live a little.

But just a little.

Armstrong, known worldwide as a seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor, is endorsing Michelob's low-calorie, active lifestyle beer brand Michelob ULTRA. The cyclist will be featured in Michelob ULTRA television commercials set to air in 2010. Capitalizing on Armstrong’s valuable personal brand and health-centric reputation, Michelob will use his likeness in various capacities ranging from print and outdoor advertising to digital marketing programs, product packaging, and point-of-sale purchases.Continue reading...

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