Nike recently announced the end of a long relationship with Livestrong Cancer Charity Foundation. Lance Armstrong’s doping incidents and the public scrutiny that ensued probably just proved too much for the behemoth company to withstand. After all, no one – least of all a crazily successful brand like Nike- wants to be associated with cheating.
Nike’s support and development of a powerful brand helped the Livestrong Cancer Foundation raise over $100 million in donations. It would be interesting to find out what percentage of money raised came from the sale of the little yellow rubber LIVESTRONG bracelets. We bought our power bands for $2 each and wore them in support of friends, family members, and relative strangers who were fighting cancer. The visibility of the bracelets lead to more discussion of cancer, and definitely more public awareness of treatment options and early detection.
Shortly after the LIVESTRONG bracelets came out, a good friend and I decided to source a manufacturer who could produce rubber stamped bracelets to build awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Bracelets for every cause known to man began to pop up on wrists everywhere, and children (including my own) started to collect them, trade them, and talk about them.
The public awareness trend grew from bracelets to water bottles, tee shirts, to back packs and beyond, and you’d see less and less of the bracelets being worn. But all through the years (and several moves) I was never able to dispose of any of the bracelets because they all held significant meaning. I imagine I’m not alone.
I’m sure the recent decision to cut ties with the foundation was a tough one for Nike.
It bears remembering that in times of triumph and in times of defeat we must continue to Carry On and Live Strong.