brand makeovers

LIVESTRONG Moves on From Lance Armstrong Woes With Brand Refresh

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 02:02 PM

LIVESTRONG is still very much alive as it strives to move out from under the enormous shadow cast by its founder, disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.

A new brand refresh involving a new logo and addition of the word “Foundation” was revealed during the State of the Foundation address at the Livestrong Assembly last week in Chicago, expanding the “visual brand to show that the LIVESTRONG ethos—the belief in survivorship—is not abstract. Thousands of people and many critical programs are the “Foundation” beneath that ethos.”

“After its founder Lance Armstrong was publicly revealed to be a cheater, a liar, and a complete and utter d**khead,” comments Mediabistro, “it was hard to believe the LIVESTRONG foundation would survive the fall-out. After all the charity, which aims to provide free cancer support services for those battling the disease, had its brand so tied to Armstrong’s own story that when Armstrong lost all credibility, it seemed like he would take LIVESTRONG down with him.”

The disgraced cyclist had his seven Tour de France victories wiped from the record books, may be stripped of the Legion d'Honneur and faces being deposed in several pending cases which altogether leave him liable for more than $100 million.

Following his interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong now has five legal actions pending:

- The federal government joined a civil fraud case alleging he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service through his doping scheme. The USPS paid $31 million to sponsor Armstrong's cycling team from 2001 to 2004 and under the False Claims Act, the government can seek treble damages—more than $93 million.

- SCA Promotions is seeking repayment of $12 million in bonuses and fees Armstrong was paid for winning the Tour de France in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Armstrong denied doping under oath in a previous case against SCA Promotions in 2005. Last year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of all seven of his Tour titles.

- Two readers of Armstrong's biographies are suing him in federal court for fraud and false advertising.

Despite it all, the LIVESTRONG brand is rebounding under the leadership of President and CEO Doug Ulman. “Our goals for expanding our direct services to support those with cancer include testing the Foundation’s navigation services through various expansion models in 2013. And over the next several years, we hope our direct services will be accessed by more than 15,500 cancer survivors a year and that 1.5 million people will use our self navigation tools each and every year,” said Ulman.

The Foundation was not the only brand affected by Armstrong's discretions. Nike infamously dropped Armstrong last year but continues its support of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Indeed, Nike just created new jerseys for the Livestrong-sponsored Canadian women's national hockey team.

“Cancer will strike one in two men and one in three women in our lifetime. It’s a staggering reality that demands attention—an issue Nike remains committed to through support of the LIVESTRONG Foundation,” said Joe Monahan, Nike LIVESTRONG General Manager. 

"I am on safe ground to say that the past year did not go as planned," said Andy Miller, LIVESTRONG EVP in an interview with Sports Illustrated. "Things happen that we cannot control—cancer has taught us that. What do we do? We adapt." "We faced headwinds that were not only stiff, but heartbreaking," he continued, adding, "This is our message to the world: The LIVESTRONG Foundation is not going anywhere." 

The Foundation has released a series of videos reflecting the faces and voices that represent the charity today, including Allison Watkins, who manages brand partnerships for Livestrong:


Robert J. Holtz United States says:

This foundation is the one way that something good will spring from this man's now-infamy.  Like the human beings they're dedicated to helping, the extraordinary people that comprise the LIVESTRONG Foundation have the character and strength-of-will to survive and conquer -- to purge this destructive element like any other cancer, literal and figurative, and look forward to better days.

March 5, 2013 03:34 AM #

Sello Mogaladi South Africa says:

Doping or not, Lance was a survivor and adopted to the situation of cancer. i think these are the ethos that the livestrong Foundation can hold on to.

March 7, 2013 01:35 AM #

Call Me Skeptical United States says:

Author says "despite it all, the LIVESTRONG brand is rebounding..." and provides no evidence.

A new logo? A sports team can rebound by changing the symbol on their jersey?

Proof of rebound is in the numbers, and no one but Livestrong executives have seen how those have fared since August 2012 when the USADA Reasoned Decision was made public and Lance Armstrong was publicly affirmed as a liar, a cheat and a thug.

Nike-Livestrong product is virtually gone from the sports stores. Large Livestrong donors publicly requested their donations back (likely not getting them back, but no one should expect they'll continue to contribute).

We just don't know about "rebound" until some monthly numbers are provided.

March 7, 2013 07:47 PM #

Corinna Lowrey United States says:

I am a cancer survivor and volunteer at Livestrong events. I am also a graduate of the Livestrong at the YMCA program. I am a big hockey fan and really want one of these jerseys. I have been trying to order this jersey, but they won't ship it to the USA. Anyone know where I can get one???

March 10, 2013 03:59 PM #

Comments are closed

elsewhere on brandchannel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
brandcameo2014 Product Placement Awards
Apple loses its crown to a new #1
Coca-ColaIt's the Journey That Matters:
Coca-Cola Opens Up With Story-Based Web Refresh
debateJoin the Debate
Is product placement a waste of money?
Arthur Chinski and Joshua Mizrahi
Model Behavior? Brands Beware
U.S. Legal Changes Impact Use of Brand Ambassadors
paperCorporate Citizenship in Canada
Fresh thinking from Interbrand
Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly

Meet Ford's Resident Futurist
Highlighting the Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia