A relationship that generated millions and branded Nike to what it is today has finally come to an end. After a nine year relationship, Nike is closing down its support with the Livestrong Foundation that former bicyclist Lance Armstrong has created to help cancer survivors.
The footwear company is pulling the plug on all Livestrong merchandise off of store shelves. I know exactly what all of you are thinking, “Wait a Sec! That means no more yellow Livestrong wristbands?” Yes this is exactly what it means. They are discontinuing all footwear and clothing, so the shoes you just bought last week that retailed over $100 will now be worth nothing. Nike has generated over 100 million in funds to the foundation since 2004 and during the time accounted for about a quarter of Livestrong’s average yearly revenue.
The foundation said that change in its relationship will have no affect on the services it provided to cancer survivors. Nike said they would continue the support in other ways, but they weren’t able to provide specifics at the moment.
The company ended the sponsorship last October after becoming aware to the news of Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs and lied to Nike for over a decade. Mr. Armstrong is now resigned from chairman of the foundation and dissociated himself from Livestrong.
Stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sport Authority are now severely hurting due to heavy inventory of Livestrong merchandise of exercise equipment and clothing that failed to sell. Consumers have already turned their back on the brand that was once so dominating and meant so much. The foundation that is based in East Austin, Texas, is looking for a new outlook and a way of rebuilding itself to what it used to be. A Spokesperson for the foundation said, “We want to steer a strong and independent course that ensures the long-term health and sustainability of the organization.”
The foundation has derived 1/3 of its budget from corporate and licensing sponsors, 1/3 from events, and 1/3 from general fundraising, according to chief executive Doug Ulman.
Livestrong still has some corporate sponsors, and still in the works for seeking more. “The foundation has taken other steps to reinvent itself, including moving its “call-to-action” day—which was celebrated on the anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis—to May 17, the day that its yellow wristband was introduced.” The foundation has started new relay marathons all throughout Austin, while ending the sponsorship with the Austin Marathon in April after three years being the top sponsor. Nearly 500 runners associated with Livestrong have already raised $250,000 this year.
I just feel that after the foundation was basically led by an imposter is going to be really hard for the company to regain its trust in its consumers and hard to rebuild itself after an impact like this.
WILL THE FOUNDATION BE ABLE TO REBUILD THEMSELVES AFTER NIKE DROPPING THEM?
WILL THIS AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE SERVICE THE FOUNDATION PROVIDES?