Here are the companies that, in the last 10 hours or so, have announced they will end, not renew, or otherwise quietly distance themselves from their endorsement deals with Lance Armstrong.
• Trek Bicycles
• Giro (bike helmets)
• FRS (energy products)
• Honey Stinger (energy products)
• 24 Hour Fitness
• Anheuser-Busch (Michelob Ultra)
The lone holdout is Oakley, which previously said they would wait for the final UCI ruling, now says they are "reviewing the extensive report from the USADA, as well as our relationship with Lance."
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Takeaways? Armstrong was a spokesman for an awful lot of stuff, and perhaps not too picky about it. (Two competing energy drink companies! Lance, which energy gum should I buy? Ah, they're pretty much all the same.) But more interesting is the timing: a week after the release of USADA's damning report, eight weeks after USADA announced his doping ban, four months after he was formally charged.
Hell, we already knew last week that his Q Score had flatlined:
Says the survey, Armstrong's ranking as someone consumers aspire to be like is on a level with Ivanka Trump; his trustworthiness is on par with Hugh Grant; his endorsement potential is comparable to Fred Willard; and his influence is at about the same level as Khloe Kardashian.
"This seemed like a good time to part ways," FRS's chief marketer said. Seemingly, every company came to the same conclusion within hours of each other. Is this precisely how long it took to calculate that Armstrong's toxicity made him a less-than-ideal spokesperson? Nah, it's everyone falling in line behind Nike, whose sudden reach for the moral high ground doesn't deserve anyone's praise, but who is the biggest freaking marketing juggernaut in the world. "Be more like Nike," every marketing guru tells himself in the mirror each morning. When Nike dropped Armstrong? Floodgates. If Nike, who still stands behind some of the most reprehensible people in sports, finds Armstong unmarketable, well then what the fuck are you other fucks doing keeping him on the books? From Nike's announcement, it took a couple of hours to clear things with the big boss, whip up a press release, and try to stake out some of that swampy moral ground themselves.
"Our business relationship with Armstrong no longer aligns with our company's mission and values," said 24 Hour Fitness's statement.
What a great day for ethical stands.