SBD/Issue 197/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Success Of Armstrong's Comeback Likely To Be Defined By Tour

Donations To Lance Armstrong Foundation
In Past Two Quarters Are Up Nearly 5%
While many observers consider the philanthropic element of cyclist Lance Armstrong's comeback to be a "success -- a main thrust of his return was to raise awareness and funding for the battle against cancer -- his competitive success is likely to be defined by his performance over the next three weeks" at the Tour de France, according to Juliet Macur of the N.Y. TIMES. Armstrong: "I will say, full disclaimer, that it's not been as easy as I thought. I think it's also fair to say that I'm not as confident in winning as I was in other years." Armstrong said that a loss at the Tour "would not mean his season was for naught ... because his comeback has brought more attention" to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). Donations to the foundation in the past two quarters are up nearly 5%, and "more yellow rubber LiveStrong bracelets have been sold." Consumers bought 1.987 million bracelets from January to May '09, up from 1.298 million bracelets during the same period in '08. Meanwhile, Nike is "about to release another wave of LiveStrong clothing and gear," and company officials said that 100% of the profits from the line "would be donated to the foundation." Nike Senior Manager of Media Relations Derek Kent said that Armstrong's return "clearly 'does help' with sales of the line." LAF President Doug Ulman, when asked if it would "matter to the cancer fight" if Armstrong is on the bike or off it, said, "With Lance being so visible on TV and in the media during a cycling race, from our standpoint, it's critical for our work" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/1).

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