Lance Armstrong's Tainted Nike Legacy
Doping scandal imparts layer of hypocrisy on powerful ads.By: Ann-Christine Diaz, Published: Oct 17, 2012
It's over. Lance Armstrong's face-off with the United States Anti-Doping Agency led to his loss of all seven of his Tour De France titles, and now, one of his biggest, and most vocal supporters, Nike. The advertiser is no longer standing by the athlete, as it explained in a statement today:
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. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.
The news comes on the heels of Armstrong's announcement that he would be stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, which Nike plans to continue supporting.
Historically, Armstrong had transcended controversy, with the help of powerful advertising from longtime Nike agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland. Here, a look back at some of Armstrong and Nike's commercial legacy, now tainted as a result of the scandal.
Armstrong explains what he's on, in this confrontational Nike spot.
Livestrong Integrated Campaign
While the most celebrated and publicized aspect of Wieden + Kennedy, Portland's Livestrong campaign was another wonder on wheels named Chalkbot, arguably more genius was Lance Armstrong's decision to once again take part in the Tour de France in the name of the Livestrong Foundation. Cannes Lions Titanium Juror Rob Reilly, CCO Crispin, Porter + Bogusky noted during the awards press conference, "It's not just another TV spot. His coming back was a calculated move to start this campaign. To me, that's the most important part. Chalkbot is an incredible tool, but the decision to come back in the first place, as a marketing idea, is brilliant."
Voices of Support
The voices of cancer survivors are what keep Armstrong going in this spot directed by Anonymous Content's Andrew Douglas, also part of the Livestrong campaign.
Armstrong confronts the critics head on in this 2009 spot directed by Gorgeous' Frank Budgen.
Armstrong Feeds the Warrior
Armstrong takes a comedic turn with the help of director Christopher Guest, in this 2007 Livestrong spot.
Lance Beats It
This 2005 spot tapped news archives to show how far the athlete had come after his revelatory 1996 press conference.
Another Kind of Athlete
Armstrong becomes a different sort of sports star in this 2004 trading places spot, directed by Ulf Johannson.
Ready, Set. . .
This 2003 spot, "Before," directed by Park Pictures' Lance Acord, shows top athletes getting prepared for the game (doping not included).
The athlete breathes life into a pachyderm in this Dante Ariola-directed fantasy.