photo courtesy of Jarred Donalson
So Lance Armstrong is no longer going to fight the US Anti-Doping Agency and the charges that they've brought against him for doping. With that announcement tonight, it has brought out the questions again with regards to Sporting KC and the naming of their stadium as LiveSTRONG Sporting Park. LiveSTRONG, the brand of the Lance Armstrong Organization, an organization founded to help cancer survivors. As part of the deal with LiveSTRONG, Sporting is donating a portion of all proceeds at the stadium to the organization to help fight cancer.
The big thing that many people fail to see in this situation is that while the two are related, Lance Armstrong the person and the LiveSTRONG organization are two separate entities. The LiveSTRONG organization has gown beyond Armstrong and has become a movement all on it's own. It's work has raised over $500 million to help cancer survivors. That goal and that work that is being done is not going to stop with this lifetime ban from cycling for Armstrong. I'd make a simple guess that the majority of the people that LiveSTRONG has helped don't care at all about these allegations.
The question though is what if anything Sporting will do about this. Their name will be brought up in this discussion, because their home stadium is named after Armstrong's organization. The team likely won't make a direct comment immediately on this, but I don't expected it to change much from the comment that was made in June by Rob Thomson, Executive VP, Communications "For us, it's all about Livestrong and helping raise $500 million for fighting cancer and all the good they've done."
That said, will Sporting KC take a look at this and have some talks about this latest news? Probably, they'd be stupid to not at least have discussions about it, but I don't expect anything on this to change. That said the team has already said in the past that they separate the two from one another the same way everyone else should. The LiveSTRONG organization has grown beyond Armstrong and become a much bigger entity on it's own. And with the continued backing of Nike, the organization isn't going to receive much backlash from this. And LiveSTRONG Sporting Park will be unlikely to be changing it's name.
SKC fans will hear the ribs from other teams around the league, there will be plenty of cute nicknames brought up for LSP in the aftermath from fans of other teams around the league. And that's to be expected, it's unavoidable, and guess what, ignore it and it'll go away slowly.