Livestrong Dumps Armstrong’s Name

November 15, 2012       Mark Hrywna      

Days after Lance Armstrong resigned as chairman of the board, officials of the foundation that bears his name filed paperwork to officially change its name. The Lance Armstrong Foundation received approval Oct. 30 from the Texas Secretary of State’s office to change its name to the Livestrong Foundation.

“Given the prominence of our brand, we were able to be known as Livestrong without having to make that official. During this time of change, we felt it appropriate to make it official,” Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the foundation, said in a telephone interview this morning. The name change was submitted Oct. 30 and effective immediately.

The Austin, Texas-based charity officially has been known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation since it was founded in 1997 by the world famous now disgraced cyclist. After “Livestrong” bracelets became a global phenomenon in 2004, however, the organization more commonly was referred to as Livestrong despite the lack of any official rebranding campaign. “It would have been silly of us to try to correct an organically phenomenal thing. We went with it,” said McLane.

Asked why Armstrong’s resignations and the name change were not announced all once, rather than seemingly week to week, McLane said: “Many nonprofits would love to have a playbook for standard operating procedures for something like this, but there is none.”

Announcements about Armstrong’s replacement on the board, as well as other potential additions to the board, are expected after its December meeting, McLane said.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has stripped Armstrong of all his records, including seven Tour de France titles, after released a scathing report in August that includes testimony from former teammates about widespread doping. Armstrong has continually denied the accusations, claiming he’s never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Here’s the timeline:

  • Aug. 20 – A lawsuit by Lance Armstrong to halt the USADA’s case against him is dismissed.
  • Aug. 21 – Lance Armstrong announces he will not participate in the USADA arbitration process.
  • Oct. 10 – USADA releases report that includes testimony form 11 former Armstrong teammates about widespread doping in cycling competitions.
  • Oct. 17 – Armstrong announces his resignation as chairman of the board, remaining as a board member.
  • Oct. 30 – Lance Armstrong Foundation files with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office to change its name to Livestrong Foundation, effective immediately.
  • Nov. 4 – Armstrong resigns his seat on the board.
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