Lance Armstrong announced yesterday that he would not fight the doping charges the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the USADA, brought on him. His withdrawal of the charges mean he will be banned from the sport for life and stripped of his titles won since August 1, 1998.
While Mr. Armstrong, 40, was essentially done with his professional cycling career, the move issues a blow not only to the sport of cycling, but also Mr. Armstrong's legacy. Mr. Armstrong, having survived testicular cancer early in his career and going on to win seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, in 1997 formed Livestrong, a charity that today has raised more than $470 million to fight cancer, according to Livestrong.org.
Experts suggest the news would be damaging to cycling, as well as Mr. Armstrong's brand, which extends far beyond his athletic pursuits (though The Los Angeles Times notes one of his key brand partners, Nike, issued a statement today saying that it "plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation").
Here, Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz pulls together some of Armstrong's most talked-about commercial appearances -- some which, she notes, take on a new tinge, in light of the USADA charges.
Armstrong explains what he's on in this confrontational Nike spot.
Livestrong Integrated Campaign
While the most celebrated and publicized aspect of Wieden & Kennedy, Portland's Livestrong campaign was another wonder on wheels named Chalkbot, arguably more genius was Lance Armstrong's decision to once again take part in the Tour de France in the name of the Livestrong Foundation. Cannes Lions Titanium Juror Rob Reilly, CCO of CP&B, noted during the awards press conference, "It's not just another TV spot. His coming back was a calculated move to start this campaign. To me, that's the most important part. Chalkbot is an incredible tool, but the decision to come back in the first place, as a marketing idea, is brilliant."
Voices of Support
The voices of cancer survivors are what keep Armstrong going in this spot directed by Anonymous Content's Andrew Douglas, also part of the Livestrong campaign.
Armstrong confronts the critics head on in this 2009 spot directed by Gorgeous' Frank Budgen.
Armstrong Feeds the Warrior
Armstrong takes a comedic turn with the help of director Christopher Guest in this 2007 Livestrong spot.
Lance Beats It
This 2005 spot tapped news archives to show how far the athlete had come after his revelatory 1996 press conference.
Another Kind of Athlete
Armstrong becomes a different sort of sports star in this 2004 trading-places spot, directed by Ulf Johannson.
Ready, Set. . .
This 2003 spot, "Before," directed by Park Pictures' Lance Acord, shows top athletes getting prepared for the game (doping not included).
The athlete breathes life into a pachyderm in this Dante Ariola-directed fantasy.