Hearne: Sporting KC Wrestles with Ditching ‘Livestrong’ Name

afp-513378763-4_3_r560The moment of truth is at hand…

Sources say that the powers that be at Sporting Kansas City appear poised to end the soccer club’s affiliation with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong‘s charity Livestrong. At this point in time, a final determination may not yet have been made, but the betting money is it will come soon.

Very soon.

“The publicity about Armstrong is just too bad at this point,” says a source. “But if they decide to drop Livestrong, I think they’re going to look for another charity.”

It’s not like this hasn’t been in the works for some time.

Sporting told Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger last fall that it was wrestling with whether to keep the Livestrong name. In exchange for the “scoop,” Mellinger tap danced a bit and rewarded Sporting by wrongly stating that, “The easy thing would’ve been for Sporting to walk away from Livestrong already. But if nothing else, a willingness to wait this long indicates a willingness to go against making the PR-approved, masses-pleasing move of renaming the stadium.”

LSP-Exterior-with-MarqueeWhat “PR-approved, masses-pleasing” move?

Other than KC Confidential calling for Armstrong to step down and Sporting to end its naming rights deal last August, there appears to have been little to no conversation to that effect outside of Mellinger’s decreeing it.

“For the good of his charity and it’s mission, Armstrong needs to do the right thing and step aside and (Sporting) needs to do the obvious thing and change it’s name from Livestrong,” I wrote then. “Immediately.”

“That’s where the internal conflict at Sporting is,” says the source. “The charity is a great charity and Lance is an asshole – what do you do? There’s a very divided camp on keeping the Livestrong name or not.”

Which brings us to the timing of a decision.

If they’re going to do it, they’ll do it in the next couple of weeks,” says the source.

We’ll see.


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9 Responses to Hearne: Sporting KC Wrestles with Ditching ‘Livestrong’ Name

  1. rico suave says:

    good news.

    Armstrong was a cheat , and a coward who bullied women and sicced weasel lawyers on anyone trying to tell the truth.

    BTW, he worth $125 mil..mostly from endorsements from his “good guy who cares about cancer” scam.

    It’s be cool if they renamed the stadium “Vietnam Vet Memorial” , but..just get Armstrongs tarnished name off of there.

    thanks to KCcon for pushing this!

  2. KCMonarch says:

    Kansas city based American Century Investments also has close ties to Armstrong and even branded a series of mutual funds with ‘Livestrong.’

  3. the dude says:

    I call dibs on the yellow chair.

  4. tiad says:

    Can they rename it “Jardine’s Sporting Park”?

  5. Rick Nichols says:

    I’m still waiting for either Arrowhead or the “K” to be renamed Taxpayers Memorial Stadium, and I’m sure I’ll be waiting ’til Hell freezes over. So if Sporting’s brass are bound and determined to rename Livestrong Sporting Park, then the sooner the better makes the most sense to me from a marketing standpoint. At the very least they can just rename the place Cerner Sporting Park and go from there. A strong partnership with a worthy charity is preferable, however.

  6. harley says:

    hearne…many sports people were calling for the dropping of lance’s endorsements
    long before you ever thought of it.
    this doping thing has been going on for years….international associations have
    called for it…the advertisers had already done research on it….nike…etc..
    all with millions of dollars tied into lance had done work on it long before
    you did.
    you came on only after lance said he would drop his fight against the charges.

    • admin says:

      Dude, I never called for any dropping of Armstrong’s endorsments. Learn to read. I called for him to sever all ties with Livestrong and for Sporting to sever its ties with Livestrong.

      • harley says:

        you’re still late to the party hearne.
        this story has been circulating since the first charges
        came out against lance.
        was in austin for lance’s annual bike ride. Great guy.
        too bad he won the wrong way….his workagainst cancer
        has been incredible. Sad….

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