Lance Armstrong announced he would no longer challenge U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Thursday. Armstrong has effectively given up his 7 Tour de France titles and admitted that he was among the many cheaters in his sport. In the wake of Armstrong’s announcement, donations to the Livestrong campaign skyrocketed on Friday. Via ESPN:
$3,200 came in Thursday to the organization’s website, which was in the range of what it typically receives. As of 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Ulman noted $78,000 in donations.
The number of people donating increased as well.
On Thursday, the foundation had 45 people donating through the website. On Friday, hours after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had enough information to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, 411 people felt compelled to donate.
Merchandise sales were up almost threefold, from $4,000 in gear sold on Thursday to $11,000 sold on Friday.
In the long run, his decision to stop fighting doping charges may discourage people from supporting his charity in the long run. Darren Rovell predicted business would suffer for Livestrong and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
One has to think that the Livestrong line, which began as an offshoot from the incredible success of the yellow rubber bands worn around millions of people’s wrists, will decrease in number. As will the donations to Armstrong’s foundation, especially from the people who were inspired to donate by the miracle of his story.
That makes perfect sense in the long run. 400 people and $78,000 is a small sample size when you consider that the Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised nearly half a billion dollars to fight cancer. With Armstrong in the news, his charity got a bump. Who knows how long that trend can or will continue. What people have to remember is that the Lance Armstrong Foundation is a good thing. Cancer remains a bad thing that needs to be stopped even if the guy with his name on the yellow wristbands is a doping, cheating, hackfraud.
It is not unfortunate that Lance Armstrong loses his Tour de France titles. In the end, that shit does not matter. It is just sports – stupid, pointless sports. What is unfortunate is that the poster boy for the fight against cancer may not be able to raise as much money to fight cancer. If you look at it from that perspective, everyone lost when Armstrong gave up this fight. Especially people with a fight that matters on their hands.