The blurred lines of Livestrong - the spin bike sham

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I wonder if that's how the Flinders Medical Centre arrangement will work? Livestrong gets a portion of funding from the government/donors? Rann of course, doesn't like talking about these things, so we can only speculate...
 
http://seekingalpha.com/article/287019-what-s-up-with-demand-media?source=marke****ch

@StockNotifierComment (1)*
$DMD Explanation? In my opinion Demand Media has many haters out there and many of them are profiting on DMD by riding the short bus. Market sentiment is also influenced by tweets, and a few of these traders in the investment community are using their social platforms to propagate this negative sentiment. When does market sentiment cross the line into manipulation? Do these "social platforms" have a obligation to keep a fair and neutral outlook for any investment? When they start moderating and censoring user content for their benefit, it makes me think about which hedge funds are really holding the strings.

Demand Media's unproven business model from eNom's registrar revenues increased 22% to $29.6 million, which I think is respectable in any book. With their market share of 8.42% of all .com domains, totaling 7,​557,​133 domains registered. On average eNom's annual price for .com is $6.00 compared to other United States domain registrars which is $12.70 and all others average at $21.45... Godaddy the only domain registrar with a larger market then Enom, has an average price of 11.99 for their .com domains. How long do you think it will take for eNom to surpass Godaddy by selling their domains at half the price? When it comes time to renew your domain, where do you think they will go?
domain-name-registrars.../

When it comes to shaky accounting history, I hope someone let Charles Hilliard, President & CFO of Demand Media know.
http://www.quora.com/Charles-...

Did anyone ever think that maybe Google depends heavily on a company like Demand Media? Who needs who more? Can you imagine the powerhouse you would have if these companies ever decide to acquire each other.. haha yes, thats funny DMD acquire GOOG. But wouldn't that be exciting!

If you are looking for what direction future profits might come from maybe you just need to look at what patents Demand Media holds.

DMD Q211 Financial Highlights:

Content & Media Revenue increased 38% to $49.8 million, compared with $36.1 million in Q210.
Traffic acquisition costs (TAC), which represent the portion of Content & Media revenue shared with Demand Media partners, of $2.8 million, or 5.6% of Content & Media revenue, compared with $3.1 million, or 8.5% of Content & Media revenue, in Q210.
Content & Media Revenue ex-TAC grew 42% to $47.0 million, from $33.0 million in Q210.
Registrar Revenue increased 22% to $29.6 million, compared with $24.3 million in Q210.
Investment in Intangible Assets of $15.9 million increased 45% from $11.0 million in Q210

I received a quick response from Julie MacMedan VP, Investor Relations, with my concerns of any manipulation that might be going on. They are looking into the information I sent them and will be reaching out to those social platforms. If you have any questions or concerns, maybe you should give them a try. ir@demandmedia.com 13 Aug, 12:10 PM0

Eddie BravermanComment (1)*
Or it could just be that a company with NO EARNINGS and a model that is not scaleable has no business being valued at $800 million (or the utterly ludicrous $1+ billion valuation at IPO).
 
thehog said:
Did anyone ever think that maybe Google depends heavily on a company like Demand Media? Who needs who more? Can you imagine the powerhouse you would have if these companies ever decide to acquire each other..
The analysis has problems though.

How does google need Demand? How does low quality search results benefit Google? The exact same thing killed Yahoo. AFAICT Demand has gamed Google's search process. It has happened before (about.com), and then Google fixes it.

The DNS info is interesting. Don't be surprised when their low-cost DNS infrastructure blows up. Spectacularly. That's why I and many others pay more.
 
What happens if a world wide poll is done, and we find out that in fact all of the world population has been "awared" already? Will the focus shift towards Alzheimer's patients and newborns? What are we donating for, exactly?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Cimacoppi49 said:
This does lead to the question of what employment/business opportunities Lance Gunderson will find after the Feds seize everything he owns--including his mother's double wide.
Some suggestions:
1. Gunderson's Snowball Stand
2. Gunderson's Plano Fix a Flat
3. Gunderson's Famous Sperm Donor Center
4. Gunderson's Shoe Shine (At an AMTRAK location near you --
franchises available)
5. Gunderson's Fanboy Twelve Step Program

post of the ever. Every on webz.

#post_penis_envy
 
VeloDude is this you?

"House of Cards" could be an accurate description of Livestrong.
*
It is in danger from collapsing from outside pressure or from within.
*
Outside pressure could come from the IRS who regulates and investigates US charities with tax exemption status and can withdraw a foundation's tax exempt status (donors would not be able to claim a tax deduction on their contributions) if non compliance is found. The IRS will act on any complaint drawn to their attention and it is understood that Livestrong is currently being investigated.
*
These are the known issues without accessing Livestrong's non public books and records:
*
Demand Media purchased the sub licensing rights to "Livestrong" and Livestrong.com* The sale price was split 50% each to the Foundation (Livestrong.org) and Lance Armstrong (& his company). An unprecedented arrangement. Armstrong would have made a $34m profit on the transaction if he had sold his shares on listing. However, the SEC stepped in and drastically reduced his potential benefit to about 25% by rejecting the initial IPO.
The travelling expenses of* Livestrong are circa*$2m per annum which is 20 times higher than the largest cancer organization in the US which receives a multiple of the donations paid to Livestrong.
Salaries paid to executives are substantially higher than industry norm.
There are issues relating to professional costs which have substantially risen over recent years.
According to the Form 990 filed as linked on the web site the Foundation has issued for the first time an explanatory note. The note claims Mr. Armstrong made the largest single donation of $6m in the Foundation's history. The note implies the donation was made in 2010 and without that amount the Foundation would have returned abysmal industry comparative results.
According to the Form 990 the Foundation has published the 2010 financial statements on its website. Those 2010 statements have not been published on the website.
According to the Form 990 it is claimed the financial accounts are audited by a firm of accountants and another firm of accountants prepares the Form 990. This is not so. The same Austin Tx firm both audits the accounts and prepares the Form 990.
During the course of the SCA Tribunal Hearing in 2005 an amount of $1.5m was paid to Indiana University Hospital as a donation by Livestrong. This amount was donated within days of affidavits being filed by the Andreus swearing to a conversation in Armstrong's hospital room in 1996 about drugs. As an alleged*result of this donation*the hospital could not identify the doctors present. Armstrong claimed under oath he had made the donation. The Hospital's media release was the donation came from Livestrong. The transaction raises serious questions about governance of the Foundation in the procedures of approving and granting financial support.
Relating to the above, an affidavit was produced for the 2005 SCA Tribunal Hearing *by a doctor wo was not present in the hospital room who swore he was not aware of LA admitting to taking PEDs. That doctor in 2005 was on the Lance Armstrong Foundation Board and in 2006 his hospital received a $500,000 donation from Livestrong. There was no statement made in the 2006 financial reports of this donation and that there existed a conflict of interest. Further governance issues as proper governance is critical to the IRS.
*
Livestrong would implode from within if Armstrong is convicted. It is a personality cult all built around him.
*
http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/380533/is-it-true-lance-armstrong-was-cheating/165#post_4017487*
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Always good to see this thread pop up again. Expect to see many variations of it in the coming year.

When you fire someone for cause there actually needs to be cause......not just because they found out about your scam

One of my favorite Livestrong line items is the over $600,000 in gifts and benefits they gave to their top donors.....some would call this a kickback
 
Race Radio said:
Always good to see this thread pop up again. Expect to see many variations of it in the coming year.

When you fire someone for cause there actually needs to be cause......not just because they found out about your scam

One of my favorite Livestrong line items is the over $600,000 in gifts and benefits they gave to their top donors.....some would call this a kickback
http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2012/daniel-benson-interview

schmalz As the editor of a site that has a forum attached to it, have you ever posted something that hasn't been described as "the worst piece of biased junk ever written"?

Benson You mean have I ever posted a story that didn't generate opinion? Lots and lots, I'm sure.

I'm a bit of a 'lurker' when it comes to the CN forums and especially the Clinic. Any time I do have for the forums is spent talking to the great moderators we have in there.

Back to the question though, I've certainly seen comments relating to my own copy that have called me biased, and the like. As the editor I'm the first port of call for complaints. I remember one reader emailed in their reaction to the fact we were running an Ivan Basso blog back in 2009. 'You don't deserve to have kids' was one line from the email. That's probably true, but at the same time you get a pretty thick skin when it comes to reporting cycling. It's a sport that people love and with passion comes divided and sometimes fierce opinions. You just have to shrug your shoulders at that sometimes. It's always nice to have praise for your work, whether it's from cycling fans or your colleagues but at the end of the day it's all fleeting. On CN we write so many stories that the last one is quickly forgotten.

So to pick up on a story I wrote about Armstrong some time back, I had emails saying I was 'a joke for going after him' and then I'd receive another email saying 'nice job'.
 

Yeahright

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A while ago I asked for some comparative analysis of charitable organisations so that an objective assessment could be made on on the veracity of some of the more outlandish claims on here.

just a quick comparision between LAF, the American Cancer Society and the American Breast cancer Foundation.

ACS:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 71.6%
Administrative Expenses 6.1%
Fundraising Expenses 22.2%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.25
Primary Revenue Growth -2.4%
Program Expenses Growth 3.7%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.10




American Breast Cancer Foundation:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 33.5%
Administrative Expenses 8.1%
Fundraising Expenses 58.2%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.65
Primary Revenue Growth -22.9%
Program Expenses Growth -34.4%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.15

Lance Armstrong Foundation:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 83.2%
Administrative Expenses 4.8%
Fundraising Expenses 11.9%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.08
Primary Revenue Growth 17.6%
Program Expenses Growth -4.7%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.45

LAF has the lowest fundraising expense percentage of all three charities and by far the highest primary revenue growth. It also has the highest level of programme expenses.

In terms of Financial Accountability and Transparency:

American Breast Cancer Foundation:
Overall 30.25
Financial 17.86 0 Stars
Accountability & Transparency 49.00

American Cancer Society:
Overall 53.85
Financial 47.97
Accountability & Transparency 64.00

LAF:

Overall 59.75
Financial 55.82
Accountability & Transparency 67.00

So in relation to two major cancer charities LAF has both greater Financial and transparency performance metrics. So why should tax payers fork out for an investigation into LAF? They shouldn't of course.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Yeahright said:
A while ago I asked for some comparative analysis of charitable organisations so that an objective assessment could be made on on the veracity of some of the more outlandish claims on here.
What "outlandish" claims have been made?
Most of the information has been gleaned from the LAF accounts.

Yeahright said:
just a quick comparision between LAF, the American Cancer Society and the American Breast cancer Foundation.

ACS:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 71.6%
Administrative Expenses 6.1%
Fundraising Expenses 22.2%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.25
Primary Revenue Growth -2.4%
Program Expenses Growth 3.7%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.10




American Breast Cancer Foundation:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 33.5%
Administrative Expenses 8.1%
Fundraising Expenses 58.2%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.65
Primary Revenue Growth -22.9%
Program Expenses Growth -34.4%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.15

Lance Armstrong Foundation:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 83.2%
Administrative Expenses 4.8%
Fundraising Expenses 11.9%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.08
Primary Revenue Growth 17.6%
Program Expenses Growth -4.7%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.45

LAF has the lowest fundraising expense percentage of all three charities and by far the highest primary revenue growth. It also has the highest level of programme expenses.

In terms of Financial Accountability and Transparency:

American Breast Cancer Foundation:
Overall 30.25
Financial 17.86 0 Stars
Accountability & Transparency 49.00

American Cancer Society:
Overall 53.85
Financial 47.97
Accountability & Transparency 64.00

LAF:

Overall 59.75
Financial 55.82
Accountability & Transparency 67.00

So in relation to two major cancer charities LAF has both greater Financial and transparency performance metrics. So why should tax payers fork out for an investigation into LAF? They shouldn't of course.
So you used Charity Navigator to get the above figures?
Ok, but it seems rather pointless as this is their criteria for assessing charities.
Accountability & Transparency Performance Metrics
Information Provided on the Form 990

Independent Voting Board Members
No Material diversion of assets
Audited financials prepared by independent accountant
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From related parties
Documents Board Meeting Minutes
Provided copy of Form 990 to organization's governing body in advance of filing
Conflict of Interest Policy
Whistleblower Policy
Records Retention and Destruction Policy
CEO listed with salary
Process for determining CEO compensation
Does Not Compensate Any Board Members
Does the charity's website include readily accessible information about the following:
Donor Privacy Policy
Board Members Listed
Audited Financials
Form 990
Key staff listed
 
Nice try but it depends on what the charity puts in into "Program Expenses". If for example you want to put "travel" and "party fees" for a 6 million shindig in Dublin into Program Expenses you can and thats exactly what Livestrong did. They also put legal and other such items into Programs. If you go through the list of items under Programs you'll find less than 20% actually is Programs as we would interpret it.

The American Cancer Society is a massive organisation. You'd fully expect them to have higher admin costs and wage bill to house their staff.

In addition they pay for treatment, housing at no charge. They also pay for wigs and patient care at home. All of this is free and I can't remember the last time I saw an American Cancer Society spin bike but maybe they have one of the their .com site :rolleyes:

You're going to have to do much better than that.

Yeahright said:
A while ago I asked for some comparative analysis of charitable organisations so that an objective assessment could be made on on the veracity of some of the more outlandish claims on here.

just a quick comparision between LAF, the American Cancer Society and the American Breast cancer Foundation.

ACS:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 71.6%
Administrative Expenses 6.1%
Fundraising Expenses 22.2%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.25
Primary Revenue Growth -2.4%
Program Expenses Growth 3.7%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.10




American Breast Cancer Foundation:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 33.5%
Administrative Expenses 8.1%
Fundraising Expenses 58.2%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.65
Primary Revenue Growth -22.9%
Program Expenses Growth -34.4%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.15

Lance Armstrong Foundation:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses 83.2%
Administrative Expenses 4.8%
Fundraising Expenses 11.9%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.08
Primary Revenue Growth 17.6%
Program Expenses Growth -4.7%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.45

LAF has the lowest fundraising expense percentage of all three charities and by far the highest primary revenue growth. It also has the highest level of programme expenses.

In terms of Financial Accountability and Transparency:

American Breast Cancer Foundation:
Overall 30.25
Financial 17.86 0 Stars
Accountability & Transparency 49.00

American Cancer Society:
Overall 53.85
Financial 47.97
Accountability & Transparency 64.00

LAF:

Overall 59.75
Financial 55.82
Accountability & Transparency 67.00

So in relation to two major cancer charities LAF has both greater Financial and transparency performance metrics. So why should tax payers fork out for an investigation into LAF? They shouldn't of course.
 

Yeahright

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Jan 29, 2011
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Sorry but the point has been made and yes the figures are from Charity Navigator. I am not sure what point you are making Maserati regarding the measures they use to assess given that the same measures are used consistently across all charities.

Hog, the fact its that whatever LAF spent its money on you would manage to ascribe some ulterior motive to it so I realise that you wear your bias well and truly on your sleeve. If they feel that keeping Armstrong's (positive) public profile high benefits their fundraising then all power to them.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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All this talk about Charity Navigator. Lets see what the head of Charity Navigator says about Armstrong pimping Livestrong to Demand Media

"This blurs the lines between the foundation and its charitable mission, and the personal gain of its founder,'' said Ken Berger, president and executive director of Charity Navigator. "It's mixing two purposes in a way that smells of a conflict of interest. The most precious thing a charitable organization has is the public's trust, and things like this put a ***** in that.''
 
Sep 5, 2009
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Yeahright said:
...<snip>...So in relation to two major cancer charities LAF has both greater Financial and transparency performance metrics. So why should tax payers fork out for an investigation into LAF? They shouldn't of course.
Those figures are only extracted from Livestrong's public documents - the audited financial statements and the IRS Form 990 tax return. The devil is in the detail which do not surface in those documents.

As TheHog has pointed out Livestrong pile into their "Program Expenses" promotion and advertising costs that other foundations would not classify as being beneficial to furthering their anti cancer mission. The inflated "Program Expenses" window dress the results.

The IRS investigation into Livestrong was announced in the 2009 financial statements as having commenced in the 4th quarter of 2009. It is not of recent origin.

As it appears to be a detailed investigation (stated to be completed at end of 2010) it would have arisen from a public complaint to the IRS.

The IRS have adopted a very strict compliance stand about Board independence and governance.

We know two grants amounting to $2 million were made in 2005 & 2006 to medical research establishments whose professional employees assisted in Armstrong's litigation with SCA. One employee is a Livestrong board member.

These research grants occurred after the Livestrong policy change from cancer research to cancer awareness and survivorship.

Just on those matters alone there are grounds for the IRS investigation.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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Velodude said:
As it appears to be a detailed investigation (stated to be completed at end of 2010) it would have arisen from a public complaint to the IRS.

The IRS have adopted a very strict compliance stand about Board independence and governance.

We know two grants amounting to $2 million were made in 2005 & 2006 to medical research establishments whose professional employees assisted in Armstrong's litigation with SCA. One employee is a Livestrong board member.

These research grants occurred after the Livestrong policy change from cancer research to cancer awareness and survivorship.
Any idea whether the IRS investigation into the LAF has been completed?

Would any of these apparent abuses of authority be likely to amount to financial crimes in the US, or is removal of charitable status about the only action the IRS could take?

Nice point about the hospital donation occuring after research was removed from the charitable purpose of the LAF. It's hard to see that donation as anything other than witness tampering IMO.
 
Sep 5, 2009
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I Watch Cycling In July said:
Any idea whether the IRS investigation into the LAF has been completed?

Would any of these apparent abuses of authority be likely to amount to financial crimes in the US, or is removal of charitable status about the only action the IRS could take?

Nice point about the hospital donation occuring after research was removed from the charitable purpose of the LAF. It's hard to see that donation as anything other than witness tampering IMO.
It is IRS policy not to make statements on compliance investigations.

The information that IRS were investigating came from Livestrong through their 2009 financial statements.

Loss of tax exemption is fatal and will result in the demise of a foundation.
Executives who were overcompensated are subject to a penalty tax.

If fraud is suspected you can expect the interest of the State A-G, FBI and DOJ together with IRS.

I have been suspicious of the impact on Livestrong's revenue of the yellow wristbands.

It could be hype but Livestrong were claiming in the first three weeks of introduction they sold 12m (@$1 per pop) and were selling 200,000 per day.

Nike initially donated the costs of manufacture but thereafter they were costing Livestrong 23c per unit. Huge profit margin.

The financial statements do not reflect this volume of highly profitable activity.

Livestrong then split up activities with separate foundations not requiring a tax exemption status for donations being established for "Merchandise", "Events" and "Endowments". These foundations' activities were not reported to the IRS in the Form 990.

However, in 2010 these three foundations were merged back into the tax exempt foundation. According to Livestrong, IRS were to be present during 2010 conducting their investigation.
 
Velodude said:
It is IRS policy not to make statements on compliance investigations.

The information that IRS were investigating came from Livestrong through their 2009 financial statements.

Loss of tax exemption is fatal and will result in the demise of a foundation.
Executives who were overcompensated are subject to a penalty tax.

If fraud is suspected you can expect the interest of the State A-G, FBI and DOJ together with IRS.

I have been suspicious of the impact on Livestrong's revenue of the yellow wristbands.

It could be hype but Livestrong were claiming in the first three weeks of introduction they sold 12m (@$1 per pop) and were selling 200,000 per day.

Nike initially donated the costs of manufacture but thereafter they were costing Livestrong 23c per unit. Huge profit margin.

The financial statements do not reflect this volume of highly profitable activity.

Livestrong then split up activities with separate foundations not requiring a tax exemption status for donations being established for "Merchandise", "Events" and "Endowments". These foundations' activities were not reported to the IRS in the Form 990.

However, in 2010 these three foundations were merged back into the tax exempt foundation. According to Livestrong, IRS were to be present during 2010 conducting their investigation.
http://apps.sos.wv.gov/business/charities/readpdf.aspx?DocID=117714

Yes I've noticed the other "foundations" which were separated from the LAF as per above. It appeared to be a way of moving certain activities away from the main foundation and reporting responsibilities.
 
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/no-battle-lines-in-the-cancer-ward-20120323-1vpi4.html

This is good news. The people I see who are living with cancer are often apologetic about being sad or not fighting hard enough. It is wonderful to be able to assure them that this is OK. Days of invincibility may be followed by days of helplessness. Or the feelings may alternate within the same minute. This is normal.

It's unrealistic to apply a premium to one feeling over the other, and unreasonable for people to feel apologetic for any of them. My goal is to let them be themselves. In the end, this is all we can hope to control.
Illness and death are not failures. What happens to our bodies is ultimately up to our cells, not our souls. This can be confronting to people who believe their will or their doctor's treatments can rescue them from all scenarios. But it is the truth.

The better we are at accepting the limits of our world, the more easily we can embrace what we have.
 
May 26, 2010
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thehog said:
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/no-battle-lines-in-the-cancer-ward-20120323-1vpi4.html

This is good news. The people I see who are living with cancer are often apologetic about being sad or not fighting hard enough. It is wonderful to be able to assure them that this is OK. Days of invincibility may be followed by days of helplessness. Or the feelings may alternate within the same minute. This is normal.

It's unrealistic to apply a premium to one feeling over the other, and unreasonable for people to feel apologetic for any of them. My goal is to let them be themselves. In the end, this is all we can hope to control.
Illness and death are not failures. What happens to our bodies is ultimately up to our cells, not our souls. This can be confronting to people who believe their will or their doctor's treatments can rescue them from all scenarios. But it is the truth.

The better we are at accepting the limits of our world, the more easily we can embrace what we have.
Jim Stynes a true human. Armstrong not fit to stand in his shadow.
 

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