Nike, RadioShack, Anheuser-Busch, Giro, Trek end relationships with Armstrong
Nike, Trek Bicycles, RadioShack and Giro have terminated their contracts with Lance Armstrong as the fall-out continues from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s case against the Texan. Anheuser-Busch also announced that it would not renew its contract with the embattled former world champion at the end of 2012.
Nike announced in a release on Wednesday morning that it had parted ways with Armstrong, one of the company’s most iconic athletes over the last quarter century, citing “seemingly insurmountable evidence” that the Texan doped his way to seven Tour de France wins.
“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him,” the Oregon-based footwear maker said in a statement Wednesday. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.”
Nike will continue working with the Livestrong Foundation. The foundation’s yellow and black-themed product range is a top seller for Nike.
“Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer,” read the statement.
Trek, the bike brand that backed Armstrong following his comeback from cancer in 1998, joined the outflow of the Texan’s sponsors on Wednesday.
“Trek is disappointed by the findings and conclusions in the USADA report regarding Lance Armstrong,” the company said in a statement issued on it website. “Given the determinations of the report, Trek today is terminating our longterm relationship with Lance Armstrong. Trek will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation and its efforts to combat cancer.”
A RadioShack spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the company, which featured Armstrong in an advertising campaign during his 2009-2010 comeback, “has no current obligations with Lance Armstrong.”
The electronics retailer also said that it “continues to be proud of what we’ve accomplished with our customers in generating more than $16 million to date for the fight against cancer.”
Reuters reported Wednesday afternoon that Anheuser-Busch, which has worked with Armstrong on campaigns surrounding its Michelob Ultra brand, would not renew its contract with Armstrong when it expires at the end of the year. Anheuser will continue its work with the Livestrong Foundation.
Armstrong’s longtime helmet sponsor followed suit as well. A representative from Giro told tmz.com on Wednesday that the helmet maker “will not be continuing our sponsorship of Lance Armstrong moving forward. We continue to support the cancer community through our association with Livestrong.”
Honey Stinger, the Colorado-based nutrition company in which Armstrong has invested, announced that it was in the process of removing the Texan’s 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. While this presents short term challenges, we look forward to growing our brand and offering our customers the best products possible.”
Armstrong on Wednesday announced that he would step down as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation.