Lance Armstrong, an American former professional road racing cyclist. Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between1999 and 2005. But that’s not all. The races he won were after his comeback from life threatening Cancer. In October 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. In February 1997, he was declared cancer-free and the same year he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer support.
” A deadly disease strikes a promising athlete. Despite desperately thin odds, he manages not only to beat the affliction but also to return to the sport and win its top prize, not once but a record seven times. Unbelievable, except it’s true.” This is bio on the website of Lance Armstrong.
Huh. Now what happened on Oprah’s show surely surprised everyone. He admitted that he had cheated not once, not for month but for a decade. He not only cheated authorities, he also cheated with very people who believed in him, followed him, made him a star. It isn’t easy for anybody to believe it. We are not able to digest it. Truth is stranger than fiction. Isn’t it? I too wished it to be some kind of a rumor. But it wasn’t.
He was a very powerful brand. An iconic stature. An inspiration for millions of us. People are feeling like they have lost their own dignity. There is no answer to their ‘Why’.
The Brand ‘Lance Armstrong’ –
Forbes have wrote an article saying, ” Why Lance Armstrong’s Brand Is Beyond Repair” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottdavis/2013/01/17/getting-lanced-why-lance-armstrongs-brand-is-beyond-repair/ )
Article held, the emotional connection with a personal brand is so much deeper and so much stronger than that of any product or service, because it connects on a human level. Rightly so, First and foremost, a brand must be trustworthy. It’s not just about him, the brand ‘Tour de France’ also got scars. Scars that won’t heal for hundred more years.
Your brand image creates expectations. It defines who you are, how you operate. In essence, your brand image is a promise – a promise that must be kept. There are two sides of a brand Armstrong. One side shows, his fighting spirit, tolerance, determination, will power, his concerns about cancer patients. The other side reflects his athletic skills, sustained high performance, dogged perseverance. Although, the brand athlete is completely tarnished the other side still holds hopes for him. Continuing his work in the area of Cancer awareness should save him from this emotional cancer. If he wants to restore his brand, he must focus on the long term.