AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File
Moving On

Livestrong pulls out of MLS football stadium sponsorship

The post-Armstrong era begins with ‘Adiós’ to Sporting Kansas City

LIVESTRONG HAS ENDED a two-year stadium naming deal with MLS side Sporting Kansas City.

The cancer foundation,  started by disgraced former cycling champion Lance Armstrong, has cut short the lucrative naming deal by four years.

The $200 million stadium was opened in June 2011 and named Livestrong Sporting Park.

In a statement issued today, Sporting did not reveal the specifics of the collapsed deal nor personally mention Armstrong.

Their chief executive, Robb Heineman said, “Over the course of the past year, it became clear that Livestrong no longer shared the same spirit of partnership, despite our perseverance to the contrary.

“This morning, we were disappointed to learn Livestrong is utilising aggressive tactics designed to force us into an unsatisfactory arrangement.

“We willingly admit we were not expecting the foundation to treat a partner in this manner. Even more surprising is that Livestrong would take this action in the midst of a significant transitional phase for their organisation.”

Struggling partner

The stadium, which will host this year’s MLS All Star game, will now be known as Sporting Park.

Livestrong’s chief financial officer Greg Lee told, ”We strive to be great partners ourselves and expect the same from those we do business with.

“If a partner is struggling to meet the terms of our agreement, we do everything possible to reach a fair and reasonable compromise. If no compromise can be reached, as good stewards of our brand and mission, we have no choice but to bring that agreement to an end.”

Armstrong conducted an interview with talk-show host Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday. The full interview will be broadcast over two nights.

The Texan is reported to have admitted to doping in the show.

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