Nike cuts ties to Armstrong charity Livestrong

Nike has ended its nine-year association with cancer charity Livestrong as it moves to severe the final link to the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

LivestrongWristband-Product-2013
Nike will no longer produce its iconic yellow Livestrong wristband.

The company will stop producing its range of Livestrong-branded products including its iconic yellow wristband by the end of the year. Nike has been making apparel for the cancer charity since 2004 and has helped raise $100m (£85.5m) since, according to Livestrong.

The move sees Nike walk away from a charity it helped turn into a global brand in an attempt to further disassociate itself with Armstrong. The company terminated its sponsorship deal with the former cyclist last year after revelations he used performance-enchaining drugs.

In a statement Livestrong officials said the foundation is “deeply grateful” to Nike for its “creative drive”.

It adds: “This news will prompt some to jump to negative conclusions about the Foundation’s future. We see things quite differently. We expected and planned for changes like this and are therefore in a good position to adjust swiftly and move forward with our patient-focused work. Because of our sound fiscal health, the Foundation is well-positioned to continue to grow our free services for cancer patients and survivors that improve quality of life and access to care.

The foundation has cut its 2013 budget by10.9 per cent year-on-yea to $38.4m (£32.4m), but revealed revenues are already 2.5 per cent ahead of forecasts. It also cited its four-star rating from Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities based on financial heath, accountability and transparency to allay concerns it will suffer without Nike’s backing.

In March, the charity attempted to dull its links to Armstrong trough a rebrand. It changed its official name from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to Livestrong and unveiled a new logo.

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