Sporting KC to retain Livestrong branding on stadium
28 Aug 2012
Major League Soccer (MLS) club Sporting Kansas City has said its stadium will continue to bear the name of Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation following the iconic American cyclist’s decision to end his fight against doping charges.
Sporting KC’s 18,500-seat Livestrong Sporting Park has borne the name of the organisation under an innovative naming rights partnership struck in advance of its opening in June 2011. Livestrong does not pay for the right to associate its name with the venue in a deal that instead sees the club committed to donate US$7.5 million in stadium revenues to the organisation over six years. Livestrong is a branch of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which was formed in 1997 by the cancer survivor to support those affected by the disease.
“The naming rights partnership between our stadium and Livestrong provides an opportunity to spread health and wellness messages that emphasises the spirit of cancer survivorship,” said Sporting KC chief executive Robb Heineman. “Livestrong’s focus is the fight against cancer and the support of 28 million people around the world affected by this disease, and we believe strongly in this mission.”
Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins and handed a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Friday, after earlier announcing he would end his battle against the organisation’s charges that he had doped throughout his career. However, the 40-year-old continues to assert his innocence against accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career.