Lance Armstrong and 7 Athletes Who Lost Their Endorsement Deals
Things are going downhill for Lance Armstrong, and fast. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report which contains evidence to support their allegations that the seven-time Tour de France winner was using performance enhancing drugs over the past decade. He's since been stripped of his titles, and he's also stepped down as the director his LIVESTRONG foundation — and that's just the beginning.
According to USA Today, Armstrong is losing his sponsorship and endorsement deals as well. Radio Shack, Anheuser-Busch and Nike have dropped Armstrong, and 24 Hour Fitness and Giro Helmets have followed suit. In addition, Armstrong has stepped down from the board of energy-drink manufacturer FRS, and his name and image are being removed from the packaging of specialty foods manufactured by Honey Stinger, a company he partially owns.
Things certainly seem to be spinning out of control for the former champion, considering his sponsors are dropping him left and right. But at the very least, he's in good company; plenty of other athletes have lost their lucrative sponsorship deals. Have a look below:
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was dropped from his endorsement deal with Big Ben Beef Jerky in April of 2010, after accusations that sexually assaulted a woman in a Georgia nightclub's restroom.
Professional golfer Tiger Woods watched many of his endorsement agreements fade into the sunset after an infidelity scandal in late 2009. Those that dropped him included AT&T, Gatorade and Accenture PLC.
Both McDonald's and Nutella ended their deals with Kobe Bryant after sexual assault charges were brought against the Lakers player in 2003.
When he was charged with double murder, Hertz left O.J. Simpson in the dust. At the time, the former NFL player had served as the rental company's spokesman for 19 years.
"Michael's most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg," said a spokesman for the Kellogg Company in 2009, after a photo surfaced of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps smoking marijuana.
Michael Vick's dogfighting charges didn't just land him in jail — they landed him in the doghouse with more than a few of his commercial endorsement partners. The then-Atlanta Falcons quarterback was completely dropped by Rawlings, while Reebok and Upper Deck suspended sales of his memorabilia.
Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson once earned millions endorsing Pepsi products, but PepsiCo put a stop to that in 1988, after Tyson's wife at the time, actress Robin Givens, came forward with allegations of abuse.