After being dumped by Nike yesterday, most of Lance Armstrong remaining sponsors started piling on in the mass effort to distance themselves from his doping scandal. Two major equipment sponsors—Trek bikes and Giro hemlets—have pulled their support for Armstrong, as has Anheuser-Busch, which uses him in Michelob Ultra ads, and Radio Shack, which sponsored his Tour de France teams in 2010 and 2011. Even the energy drink company whose board he sat on, FRS, has parted ways with the cyclist.
With or without his lifetime cycling ban, Armstrong's racing career was mostly over, as he was already transitioning into competitive triathlons and was unlikely to compete in the Tour de France again. It would have made sense for most of the endorsement deals to quietly fade away anyway, but the doping scandal provides a convenient excuse and Nike's first move provided convenient cover. Armstrong could lose as much as $50 million in endorsement money over the next five years, but flip that around and that's how much these companies save on a spokesperson who is allowed to do much speaking these days. Or to put it more cynically: They partnered with Armstrong The Brand, and now that the brand is damaged they are moving on to the next product placement.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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