It’s almost unbelievable to think a global hero could have such an impact on a sport. The world of cycling and the fans of Lance Armstrong were ultimately disappointed when Armstrong confirmed everyone’s suspicion of his long-term drug use.
The anticipated interview of a lifetime, Oprah Winfrey was the one who landed the coveted interview. Piers Morgan couldn’t help but be disappointed that he chose Oprah over him. But Oprah brings the prestige and her pre-marketing efforts for her channel OWN did not go unnoticed.
But what does this say about Lance Armstrong. Did he handle the situation well? It took him a long time to admit to these accusations and rather than hiding from the situation, he could have minimized the damage to his reputation a long time ago.
The impact to his reputation doesn’t stop there. His personal reputation is in tatters and his association with Livestrong is pulling the cancer charity down too. The board of the charity asked him if he would consider stepping down as chairman and he did, eventually. Livestrong now runs independently of Armstrong.
So the million dollar question is – will Livestrong retain its positive reputation in years to come? Or is the association with Armstrong going to hurt the charity’s efforts in the long term?
From a crisis PR point of view, the whole situation was managed poorly. The best measure one can do to preserve their reputation before a scandal gets out is to have a professional firm like 5W Public Relations manage the state of affairs intelligently and proactively.