It appears that it wasn’t enough for Nike to dump Lance Armstrong, he of bicycling/doping allegations fame: Seven months after Armstrong stepped down from his position as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation’s board, Nike seems to be distancing itself even further from the fallen cyclist by announcing that it will be ending its deal with Livestrong and will no longer make products like the ubiquitous yellow bracelets.
Armstrong retired as chairman of the charity back in October. Back then, Nike said it would continue to support Livestrong, but it appears that support now does not include a licensing deal, as Nike announced today (via ESPN.com):
“Nike has made the decision to stop producing new Livestrong product after its Holiday 2013 line. We will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation by funding them directly as they continue their work serving and improving outcomes for people facing cancer.”
Livestrong also issued a statement on Nike’s decision:
“The Livestrong Foundation is deeply grateful to Nike not only for the time and resources it invested in helping us improve the lives of people affected by cancer today, but also the creative drive it brought to our nine-year partnership.”
After Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he formed the Livestrong foundation in 1997 and debuted the immensely popular yellow rubber bracelets that called attention to the fight against cancer. They were yellow, just like the jersey Armstrong wore during many of his Tour De France wins — titles that the International Cycling Union subsequently stripped him of as a result of the doping scandal.
Last year Nike reportedly sold $150 million worth of Livestrong products and has helped raise more than $100 million in all for the foundation through wristband sales, but sources tell ESPN the company was ready to give up the business.
Nike to end Livestrong deal [ESPN.com]