The Lance Armstrong’s confession of being a liar, a cheat and ruining the careers of many fellow athletes has captured the news since October with the climax being an interview with Oprah. In October the ‘LiveStrong’ charity that Lance founded asked him to step down. LiveStrong wanted to distant themselves from their founder and be able to do their charitable work without the cloud that is all Lance Armstrong.
LiveStrong is a great charity. It funds many educational programs, research and awareness for men with testicular, and prostate cancers in particular and all cancers for men and women. The yellow wristbands, co-sponsored by Nike, were a huge success in awareness and fund raising. Nike has been one of Lance’s biggest supporters, financially and for PR. Nike pulled their endorsement away from Lance too.
Last year the Susan Komen foundation had a PR debacle. Nancy Brinker, the founder of the Komen for the Cure did not respond quickly to some political and policy PR controversy. One affiliate of Komen for the Cure, out of several hundred affiliates, in New York was denied Komen funding to support a grant from Planned Parenthood. The funding was to be for breast cancer education to the clientele who come to Planned Parenthood in this area. What came out was news that not only would Komen not support this funding grant but also some new board members were viewed as ‘conservative’,
The backlash for the Komen Foundation was fierce and intense. The results were a devastating fund raising shortfall. Nancy Brinker did not step down. She did not immediately respond or make clear the issues in question. A year later the Komen foundation is still trying to recoup. The Komen Foundation set up for the LiveStrong foundation a template on what not to do!
In a year will the LiveStrong foundation recoup and achieve their distance from Lance Armstrong? Are we all more forgiving to the personal ethics violations that Lance Armstrong represents than the political/policy mistakes of Nancy Brinker?