October 17/12 18:07 pm - A Wholesale Exodus as Sponsors Flee Tainted Armstrong Brand
Posted by Editor on 10/17/12
The day began with an announcement that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong would step down as Chairman of the Board for the Livestrong charitable foundation, which was quickly followed by long-time sponsor Nike disassociating itself from Armstrong. Nike later said it would be renaming the Lance Armstrong Fitness Center.
This opened the floodgates, with Trek Bicycles and helmet maker Giro severing ties, and Anheuser-Busch announcing it would not be renewing its sponsorship agreement with Armstrong. Radioshack was quick to state that it no longer had any ties with Armstrong. Finally, nutrition company Honey Stinger, in which Armstrong is an investor, stated that they were removing his image from its products.
“Honey Stinger is a small Colorado company focused on providing healthy, honey-based energy foods,” the company said in a statement. “We are in the process of removing Lance Armstrong’s image and endorsement from our product packaging.”
So far, one of the only major sponsor to have not dropped Armstrong is eyewear manufacturer Oakley, which said earlier that it would wait for the UCI to finish their review of the USADA documents implicating Armstrong in a massive and sustained doping conspiracy.
"As we have stated in the past, Oakley does not approve in any way the use of illegal substances for enhancing performance in sports. Our policy with our athletes is to support them until proven guilty by the highest governing body of sport or court of law. We are reviewing the extensive report from the USADA, as well as our relationship with Lance, and will await final decision-making by the International Cycling Union."