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Lance's Bikes Raise $1.25 million for cancer research

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Aug 13, 2009
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Dominar said:
Let's move along, now. There's really nothing to see here.

Why is it that Armstrong's groupies get so uncomfortable when people question the myth? Maybe because there is so much truth behind what is written?
 

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Dominar said:
OK, first, fact check: Show me an example of LA saying he is living in poverty.

Second, I'd be willing to bet $$ that he's paid for that house in full, so who cares if he drew a salary from Astana in 2009? He didn't need to because he obviously has plenty and demanding a salary would have required signing a contract with Astana, which may or may not have been possible. But there is no rational basis for saying that his non-salary status and his obvious wealth means he's necessarily been making $$ off of Livestrong.

But let's get at the real crux of your argument: namely, that LA must make money personally from Livestrong's activities because how else can he be so wealthy?

I work with very wealthy people on a daily basis. I can assure you that their financial investments typically extend far beyond what you or I can imagine -- hedge funds, commercial real estate, private ventures, international holdings, bonds, etc. There are plenty of other ways for LA to have made significant amounts of money besides from Livestrong. (Edited to add: For example, in researching this post, I just learned that LA also owns a stake in energy drink maker FRS -- I doubt there are many sports- or cycling-related companies he doesn't have an interest in at this point!)

For example, I am sure that like many top tier athletes, he has made (and continues to makes) considerable money from endorsements. If invested and managed wisely over the past 10 years, that money alone would be throwing off more income today (assuming 4% after-tax return) than he could conceivably spend. And from all appearances, he must have very good advisors so I'd say this is a safe assumption.

As for Livestrong.com specifically, LA and LAF may have partnered with Demand Media to launch the website, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the partnership involves LA and LAF taking an ownership interest in DM (although it must be a modest one in relative, if not absolute, terms, given DM's total equity) and DM running the website and keeping any ad revenue generated. If this is true, then any net profits that come from the website ultimately are paid out to all of the owners of DM, not just LA and LAF.

And even if the WSJ has it wrong and LA, LAF and DM own direct interests in the website itself, does it really matter? If the Foundation contributed x% of the capital, it's getting x% of whatever profits there may be (and a cursory check of the website confirms that its only income does seem to be from advertising only -- merchandise is available only through the charity's website so the net proceeds from that directly benefits LAF, not LA). LAF also benefits from the .com website's higher visibility in that there is a link on that website to direct all potential donors to LAF's website, so that's a good thing, right? (In fact, from the articles I've read this morning, that seems to have been the primary motivation behind the partnership for LAF -- funneling web users who type "livestrong.com" rather than "livestrong.org" to the charity's website.)

As for "going public," it seems there has never been any intention of taking the livestrong.com website public (and in any event, I don't know how that would happen -- more likely, it would be sold to another private investor). Rather, the talk has been of DM going public in 2010. And if that happens, all investors, not just LA and LAF, would get a pro rata share of the profits. So, what's the big deal?

Again, hate all you want, but please just base it on investigation and rational thought.

Excellent points, thanks for that.

As has been said on this thread many times, you'll never satisfy the mean-spirited anti Armstrong crowd. They want to believe that Armstrong doesn't care about cancer or his reputation as a rider and does everything for the money. Strangely, this type of argument often comes from people that are well-to-do themselves and admit to taking private jets several times a year. Maybe a lot of their hatred is transference. Who knows.
 

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Race Radio said:
Why is it that Armstrong's groupies get so uncomfortable when people question the myth? Maybe because there is so much truth behind what is written?

That's the other thing. Anyone who appreciates a cyclist who has won seven tours and made a lot of money for cancer, not to mention has given people a lot of hope, is a "groupy". Tells you all you need to know...
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Sprocket01 said:
That's the other thing. Anyone who appreciates a cyclist who has won seven tours and made a lot of money for cancer, not to mention has given people a lot of hope, is a "groupy". Tells you all you need to know...

Thank you for proving my point with every post.

When a poster suspends rational thought in order to continue to believe a myth they have earn the groupie title.
 

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Race Radio said:
Thank you for proving my point with every post.

When a poster suspends rational thought in order to continue to believe a myth they have earn the groupie title.

But most of your stuff is assertion. You just announce "Armstrong's comeback is all about the money" without any hard evidence to support this claim. That is trolling and smearing. People can see this.
 
Nov 2, 2009
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bianchigirl said:
So if he has no intention of profiting from the Livestrong brand (though, let's not forget that he profits vastly from it in terms of goodwill

Again, you are stating that as fact when it's just your personal belief.

First, your statement assumes that there is goodwill flowing from Livestrong to LA. But is that really true? Ask yourself this: Would "Livestrong" have any goodwill at all if LA was not associated with it? I'd say no. And if that's true, then the goodwill necessarily flows from LA to Livestrong, not vice versa. And in that case, isn't LA actually benefiting the charity by putting his face and reputation behind the brand?

Second, for the reasons already stated, I remain unconvinced that he "profits vastly" from the Livestrong brand. His equity stake in DM may be "significant" in absolute terms, but even $5M (just to pick a number), while significant, is only 1.6% of $320M (which is what I recall DM's total equity being in 2008 -- pardon me for not going back to doublecheck). So, to use my example, for every $1 in net (after expenses, taxes, etc.) advertising revenue DM earns from the .com that ultimately gets paid out to DM's investors, LA would receive less than 2 cents. That's hardly "profiting vastly."

The real money from the Livestrong brand undoubtedly (to my mind) must come from the merchandising, all the profits of which seem to go to the charity, not LA.

and having blind eyes turned to his alleged doping)

Let's please not get into a doping debate. Suffice it to say that your conclusion presumes that LA dopes, and as the many, many debates on this site can attest to, there is room to argue the point.

why not simply approach DM and ask them to drive traffic to the Livestrong.org site? Why the need to take any kind of equity at all which will - when the company goes public - directly profit him? It's a fairly simple question Dominar which you have signally failed to answer.

My apologies. I was not aware that specific question had been asked. But please allow me to try and address it now: DM is a for-profit enterprise that apparently makes its money from creating niche websites and then generating ad revenue from those sites. They are not web designers who create a site, get paid a lump sum, and then disappear. However, because of the laws governing tax-exempt organizations, DM cannot have any financial interest in, or receive any benefit from, the Livestrong.org website. So, DM approaches LA and LAF with a win/win proposition: "Hey, let's form a .com, which will increase cancer awareness and traffic to the .org site, while we keep the ad revenue for our trouble. But oh, yeah, setting up this site is going to cost $$ and we really don't want to foot the entire bill ourselves (after all, it will take a while for the ad revenue to cover our investment), so we will need you to put up some cash. That way, you will also have a vested interest in the site's success and we know you won't skip out and leave us holding a worthless website."

A more interesting question is why traffic to Livestrong.org is so low? Does that not indicate that the interest is not so much in Armstrong the 'cancer saviour' and more in Armstrong the celebrity. Interest in Livestrong.org - rather like the interest of the fanboys in cycling - presumably dies to almost nothing when their hero is not around?
Given the similarity between "livestrong.org" and "livestrong.com," I don't think you can say that most users would consciously pick one over the other, or associate one more closely to the "cancer survivor" or the "celebrity," so your conclusion is flawed, IMO. I also don't see how you can distinguish between the two personas: LA is a "celebrity" because of his high profile cancer battle, his subsequent success in one of the toughest athletic events in the world and his public activities to raise funds for cancer research, awareness to encourage healthy lifestyles and early detection and hope for cancer survivors.

Kadence, why bother to have 2 sites? If users are 'illiterate' as you say and will choose a .com over a .org then why not simply close the Livestrong.org site? Or might that look just a little too mercenary?
Again, it has to do with the tax laws. The .com website cannot accept donations. Conversely, revenue from the .org website cannot be paid to a private party like DM.

Like I say, when Armstrong starts campaigning in Africa, fair enough. Until then, 'raising awareness' in lucrative first world countries will also smell of raising awareness for Nike, Oakley and Brand Armstrong.
But why do celebrities go to Africa? They do it for the photo op and "raising awareness" in those same lucrative first world countries. They also do it for the positive PR it brings them. Nike and Oakley are no different -- they partner with Livestrong partly for charitable reasons, but also for their own self interest. That's just life. As for "Brand Armstrong," your conclusion is once again unsupported.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Sprocket01 said:
But most of your stuff is assertion. You just announce "Armstrong's comeback is all about the money" without any hard evidence to support this claim. That is trolling and smearing. People can see this.

People can see that you are just a troll. I present plenty of evidence to support my position, that fact that you are unable to dispute any of it only reinforces that fact that you are here to disrupt, not add, to the discussion.
 
Nov 2, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I never mentioned merchandising!
No, but as I said above, I think merchandising has to be the primary source of income -- and it all benefits LAF, not LA.

If you read the WSJ article I posted - when asked how much equity LA has in Demand Media, Mr. Rosenblatt said they are "significant."
Which is why I said "in relative terms" -- $5M (to pick a number) is certainly significant, but it's only 1.6% of what I recall DM's total equity being.

What is the name on Lances shirts and cycling apparel? LAF or Livestrong? So which is being promoted? Are Demand Media profiting from their association with the Livestrong brand? Does LA have equity in Demand Media?
It's Livestrong, of course, but that's always been the charity's mark, not LA's personal logo. Exhibit #1: www.livestrong.org.
 

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Race Radio said:
People can see that you are just a troll. I present plenty of evidence to support my position, that fact that you are unable to dispute any of it only reinforces that fact that you are here to disrupt, not add, to the discussion.

No you haven't. You highlight his earnings this year and then say this means it was all for the money. A super star like Armstrong is always going to earn lots of money whatever he does - that doesn't mean he does it only for the money as you assert. There is no evidence to support this wild claim.

Why are you not clearing up whether you use private jets? You said in another thread that you did.
 
Firstly, this thread should be in the General section, not the Pro Road Racing section as it is not really related to pro racing.

When I first joined, there was only one section for every thread and it was a mess, thankfully, the mods split it into the 3 sections which really helped but now I think there should be a fourth 'Lance' where one can discuss all things related to Lance. Anyone else think this is a good idea.

This thread has descended into another bait fest with both sides guilty. On the topic of the money raised for cancer by the bike auctions, bravo to Lance for raising such an amount of money for a good cause. I have no doubt that the Livestrong foundation was started with genuine good intentions back in 99 and indeed still does great work. I remember the first 'Ride for the Roses' which Indurain attended being featured in ProCycling magazine and that was before Lance went stratospheric with his first Tour win. Even through his career, the cancer angle was always a positive one and made Lance stand out from many athletes and I admired this even as I started to dislike him.

However and this is my personal opinion, Lance left the sport under a bit of a cloud in 05 and when deciding to comeback, he cyncially pushed the cancer angle more than ever before as a protective shield to deflect the flak he knew he would receive. How to seperate Lance the athlete from Lance the cancer ambassador, that is the tricky bit and I am not sure if it is possible.

I will now give an example of this conflict.

There was a cancer summit in Dublin in August at which Lance was a keynote speaker. The Tour of Ireland was taking place the week before, I am not sure if the 2 events were tied in together but Lance competed in the Tour of Ireland. The race was only 3 days long this year as opposed to the normal 5 due to 'tough economic times' according to the organisers.

Lance failed to finish on the last day even though a lot of people had turned up just to see the star man on St.Patrick hill, apparently because of a bad back. Two days later he twittered that he was going for a bike ride in Phoenix Park in Dublin with the result that thousands turned up to join him receiving maximun publicity. In a recent magazine interview, the organiser of the Tour of Ireland admitted that he had to pay Lance a substantial amount of money to appear in the Tour of Ireland.

To me this encapsulates the whole scenario of Lance the good samaritan. We want to applaud his appearence at the cancer summit but then find out that the most likely reason for the 'tough economic conditions' affecting the Irish race was Lance taking a huge apperance fee, then not even finishing but pulling a PR stunt 2 days later. Perhaps a bike race is not that important in the grand scheme of things but if Lance was just in Ireland for a cancer summit, surely he could have managed to do the race without charging an apperance fee if his comeback was all about cancer.

None of this was ever mentioned before or during the Tour of Ireland. Would Lance still have come to Ireland at all if he had not been getting an appearence fee for the race. Tour hero and Cancer survivor Lance is coming to Ireland to speak at a cancer summit and race the Tour of Ireland sounds great, but add on he is charging €xxxxxxx to do so leading to the event being shortened doesnt sound so good publicity wise, does it.

It appears he wants it both ways, to be potrayed as an ambassador for an illness, riding for free etc all for cancer awareness but then secretly charging celebrity appearence fees to participate in the sport in which he made his name even though he is already mega wealthy. People are free to decide for themselves on his cancer work. My own opinion is that if you already mega succesful and rich from your own career, you should not be making a buck fronting a charity organisation which you set up yourself and support.

In summary, I think people are wrong to criticise his charity just out of dislike for the guy and this is what a lot of people are doing. The latest auction is what I would term admirable charity work and I refuse to criticise it. However, I also understand why people are a bit cynical about it all, as with all things connected to Lance, scratch below the surface and their is nearly always something more sinister lurking beneath. It just seems that Lance is just as concerned with lining his own pockets as promoting cancer awareness.

I guess its up to us to decide what we consider 'acceptable' behaviour from an ambassodor for a charity organisation.

One last tidbit, Diego Maradona was used in an anti-drugs campaign in either Spain or Italy (dont remember which) during the height of his footballing fame not long before his own drug abuse became public knowledge.
 

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pmcg76 said:
Firstly, this thread should be in the General section, not the Pro Road Racing section as it is not really related to pro racing.

Some people seem to think they're in the clinic as well.

Did you see the weather conditions for the tour of Ireland? All the big names pulled out before the end, including Cavendish. You can't hold that against him.
 
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Sprocket01 said:
Some people seem to think they're in the clinic as well.

Did you see the weather conditions for the tour of Ireland? All the big names pulled out before the end, including Cavendish. You can't hold that against him.

LA also admitted in some recent interview that he realized after the fact that he had let people down that day, and that if he says he's going to race, he has to give it 100% each and every time because many people do come to the event just to see him. I don't think you can say his withdrawal was all part of some pre-arranged deal with the organizers, but I do think it's fair to say he (and many others) weren't mentally prepared to tough it out in the bad weather.
 
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Race Radio said:
Why is it that Armstrong's groupies get so uncomfortable when people question the myth? Maybe because there is so much truth behind what is written?

Sorry, but I don't even know how to respond to a statement like that. I have simply been trying to correct the mis-information many people have been posting about the legal structure and operations of LAF and the .com website. My apologies if that makes me a "groupie."
 

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Dominar said:
LA also admitted in some recent interview that he realized after the fact that he had let people down that day, and that if he says he's going to race, he has to give it 100% each and every time because many people do come to the event just to see him. I don't think you can say his withdrawal was all part of some pre-arranged deal with the organizers, but I do think it's fair to say he (and many others) weren't mentally prepared to tough it out in the bad weather.

Well I do think he over commited himself this year - trips to see prime minsters, holding charity events all the time. Hopefully he will focus more on being 100% prepared for the tour next year.
 
Sprocket01 said:
Some people seem to think they're in the clinic as well.

Did you see the weather conditions for the tour of Ireland? All the big names pulled out before the end, including Cavendish. You can't hold that against him.

I was there on St.Patricks Hill in the ****ing rain. Yeah a lot of guys pulled out but most other guys were not getting paid to race like Lance and didnt have posters with their face and the message 'hope has returned' and a Nike swoosh all around the route. There was an American guy stood straight across from me on the hill soaked to the skin waiting, as soon as he realised Lance werent coming, he beat it. Its not that Lance didnt finish, its he didnt even attmept the hill once. God, even the Rwandan guy who was dead last by miles made it up the hill once to the biggest cheers of the day. My issue was Lance was probably the reason the race was shortened and he didnt even finish it. Cavendish didnt score brownie points either but then it wasnt gonna finish in a sprint but Lance was within 30 seconds of the lead.

By focusing on the micro issue of why he dropped out, (of course it wasnt pre-arranged), you are also missing the overall context of my post.
 

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pmcg76 said:
I was there on St.Patricks Hill in the ****ing rain. Yeah a lot of guys pulled out but most other guys were not getting paid to race like Lance and didnt have posters with their face and the message 'hope has returned' and a Nike swoosh all around the route. There was an American guy stood straight across from me on the hill soaked to the skin waiting, as soon as he realised Lance werent coming, he beat it. Its not that Lance didnt finish, its he didnt even attmept the hill once. God, even the Rwandan guy who was dead last by miles made it up the hill once to the biggest cheers of the day. My issue was Lance was probably the reason the race was shortened and he didnt even finish it. Cavendish didnt score brownie points either but then it wasnt gonna finish in a sprint but Lance was within 30 seconds of the lead.

Well people had plenty of opportunity to see him on the routes over the three days. It's not Armstrong's fault you have such crappy weather.
 
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Dominar said:
Sorry, but I don't even know how to respond to a statement like that. I have simply been trying to correct the mis-information many people have been posting about the legal structure and operations of LAF and the .com website. My apologies if that makes me a "groupie."

It does. Your explanations have been nothing but more misinformation, relaying more on quantity of words then content.

When people here mention "The Myth" this is one of the things were are referring to. Armstrong's ability to get his followers to suspend rational thought when it comes to their hero.
 
Sprocket01 said:
Well people had plenty of opportunity to see him on the routes over the three days. It's not Armstrong's fault you have such crappy weather.


My friend if that is the best you can come up with, well you are just showing yourself up.

Wonder what the Rwandan guy thought of our weather. And for those that dont know, St.Patricks Hill is the equivilant of the Muur in Tour of Flanders or Alpe d'Huez or Arenberg forest in Paris-Roubaix, in other words its the place to be in the Tour of Ireland.
 
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Sprocket01 said:
But most of your stuff is assertion. You just announce "Armstrong's comeback is all about the money" without any hard evidence to support this claim. That is trolling and smearing. People can see this.

But there was evidence and even an articulate argument. Frankly, I remain unconvinced, but that is because I support the LAF. I've watched too many loved ones suffer due to cancer (just yesterday I received news that a close family friend has lung cancer). I have my own criticisms, but certainly not enough to conclude that the man is a fraud.

I think that this discussion was well thought out. Far better than most of the criticism that fails to extend beyond meaningless slander and childish insults.
 

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pmcg76 said:
My friend if that is the best you can come up with, well you are just showing yourself up.

Wonder what the Rwandan guy thought of our weather. And for those that dont know, St.Patricks Hill is the equivilant of the Muur in Tour of Flanders or Alpe d'Huez or Arenberg forest in Paris-Roubaix, in other words its the place to be in the Tour of Ireland.

Okay but it has been a long time since Armstrong rode in those types of conditions. He's used to training in Spain, Texas and California and then doing the Tour in July. The arctic conditions must have been a shock to the system. It was still supposed to be summer after all. If you're doing the Paris Roubiax in Spring then you're braced for all that stuff.
 

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I have relatives in Ireland and spent a couple of weeks in the Connemara region this summer, and did a lot of cycling. Absolutely amazing scenary and great routes, but the weather was poor. What made it worse was London was going through a heat wave at the time. Somehow it managed to miss the west of Ireland. :(