Communications Plan Addressing Livestrong's Pressing Reputational Issues

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  • Topic: Cancer, Lance Armstrong, Tour de France
  • Pages : 11 (3976 words )
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  • Published : April 16, 2013
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Communications Plan Addressing Most Pressing Reputational Issues Facing Livestrong Background of current issue facing Livestrong Foundation
Lance Armstrong – the 7 time Tour De France winner, cancer survivor and founding chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, has been facing a lot of pressure and criticism from the media and the public due to allegations of doping made by the United States Anti Doping Agency (BBC, 2012). On October 17 2012 Armstrong resigned as Chairman due to allegation of doping (Mary, 2012). In November 2012, Lance Armstrong officially stepped down from the board of directors and ended his association with the Livestrong Foundation which was then known as The Lance Armstrong Foundation (Mclaggan, 2012; Vertuno, 2012). However, despite this, the opinion of the people towards the Livestrong Foundation is one of prejudice. Many companies who formally endorsed Armstrong have dropped him from their campaigns. Some of these companies were Nike, Trek Bicycles, Giro, FRS (energy products), and 24 Hours Fitness (Petchesky, 2012). Various reasons were given by the heads of these organizations as to why Armstrong was dropped. FRS Chief of Marketing commented: “this seems like a good time to part ways” while 24 Hours Fitness stated: “our business relationship with Armstrong no longer aligns with our company’s mission and values” (Schrotenboer, 2012). These and many more statements were made in regards to the doping allegations. Armstrong’s reputation and image is currently deteriorating rapidly. There are many opinions from segments of society (such as the public and the media,) regarding the Livestrong Foundation after this alleged scandal. Here is a brief overview of the situation from various stakeholders (See Appendix for Livestrong Foundation view): The Public:

The public had varied opinions. There has been one section of people who have stood strongly by Lance Armstrong and the Livestrong Foundation. They stand by the fact that the foundation is still about researching a cure for cancer and so it will always be respected in the eyes of the community. Lou Hablas has supported Livestrong for years and worn the iconic yellow bracelet in honor of his uncle, stepmother and friends who have lost loved ones to cancer. The 49-year-old Georgia resident says he'll continue to wear the bracelet despite news that embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of the charity he founded 15 years ago. But the poster of Armstrong leading his Discovery teammates in the team time trial at the 2005 Tour de France is coming down from his office wall amid news that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found "overwhelming" evidence of Armstrong's involvement in doping as a professional cycler. "What Lance initiated through the formation of a foundation in his name and efforts through Livestrong far exceed this formal and seemingly final recognition of Lance's fallibility, Cancer sucks and it is much bigger than Lance Armstrong " Hablas said in an interview with CNN (CNN, 2012). The feeling of Lou Hablas mirrors the feeling of millions around the world. While they still continue to strongly support the Livestrong, their respect for Lance Armstrong has diminished due to the doping incident. They are able to separate the foundation from Lance Armstrong and the controversy surrounding Lance Armstrong does not change their opinion on the Livestrong Foundation. On the other hand, there has also been a large segment of the public who have lost their faith in the Livestrong Foundation. Wendy Adams of Manchester, Pennsylvania, and her sisters have been wearing their yellow bracelets since their father was diagnosed with end stage prostate cancer in 2004. When her father died in 2005, the family respected his wish to be cremated wearing the bracelet and spent $200 dollars on the bracelets for family and friends to hand out. Now, she says she can't wear the bracelet with pride anymore because of its connection to Armstrong and...
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