Nike dumps Lance Armstrong

Will Anheuser-Busch and Oakley follow suit? In the face of “seemingly insurmountable evidence” that Lance Armstrong “misled Nike for more than a decade,” the athletics brand formally dropped the multiple Tour de France winner as its spokesman Wednesday. The move came only hours after its own name was dragged through the mud surrounding the scandal; […]

Will Anheuser-Busch and Oakley follow suit?

In the face of “seemingly insurmountable evidence” that Lance Armstrong “misled Nike for more than a decade,” the athletics brand formally dropped the multiple Tour de France winner as its spokesman Wednesday.

The move came only hours after its own name was dragged through the mud surrounding the scandal; on Tuesday, Nike vehemently denied a New York Daily News report that it aided Armstrong in covering up use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“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,” said Nike in a statement. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”

Armstrong, meanwhile, announced today he’s stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong charity so the group can focus more clearly on its cancer-fighting mission rather than the mounting problems surrounding its founder. He stepped down after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a comprehensive report detailing evidence of doping allegations against Armstrong and his teammates.

The dismissal by Nike – which stood by golf superstar Tiger Woods when news of his extramarital affairs became public in 2009 leading other sponsors such as Accenture to drop him, and stood by Kobe Bryant when the NBA superstar was charged with sexual assault in 2003 – effectively finishes Armstrong as an endorser on Madison Avenue. Sports-marketing experts predict that with Nike ditching Armstrong, other sponsors such as Anheuser-Busch and Oakley will likely follow this week.

Neither A-B, which yesterday issued a public statement of support for Armstrong, nor Oakley could be reached at presstime.

To read the original story in Advertising Age, click here.

Brands Articles

BMO unveils first campaign from Y&R

A new, employee-built tagline is designed for Canadian and U.S. markets

Supermarket chain battles criticism over World War I ad

Sainsbury's four-minute television spot depicts the 1914 Christmas Truce

Best Buy posts unexpected sales gain, prepares for holiday deals

Best Buy CEO: Holiday deals will be more "balanced and targeted" this year

Frank & Oak gets into home decor with Etsy collection

Menswear retailer experiments with handmade home goods

Ford Canada hits the streets of Montreal in new web series

Brand focuses on one of the most important small car markets: Montreal

Dairy Farmers of Canada and W Network’s cheesy campaign

Holiday effort from m2 targets ‘zestfuls’

Target Canada focuses on holiday sales, then its future

Signs of improvement outlined in the company's third-quarter report

Metro boosts Q4 profit, revenue and same store sales up

Montreal retailer posts $115.6-million profit

Kiip launches white label loyalty solution for brands

Platform helps marketers offer specialized rewards for new or loyal users