The Lance Armstrong brand is dead

Internet Marketing

Lance Armstrong is doing the one thing he’s never done in his life: Giving up.

The International Cycling Union on Friday said it will wait for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to explain why Lance Armstrong should lose his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles before commenting on the case.

The news preceded a statement from USADA saying it had officially stripped Armstrong of his Tour de France titles after he dropped his fight against drug charges that threatened his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.


Now, the former seven-time Tour de France winner is stripped and banned from cycling.

Because he gave up.

Lance Armstrong did the one thing we can’t forgive him for. He gave up.

But it’s not just that he gave up.

He build his brand, including 200-plus variations of the LIVESTRONG brand, around not giving up.

Now that he’s done the unthinkable, the Lance Armstrong brand is dead.

This goes well beyond the question of whether or not he cheated.

I’m a cynic, so I assume all athletes use performance enhancing drugs.

The fact that he may or may not have used PEDs isn’t what killed his brand.

It’s the hypocrisy.

He’s the religious fanatic that just got caught cheating. He has no more credibility.

Yes, the good that he’s done, including raising more than $500 million to fight cancer, can’t be undone, but his reputation is.

Irrevocably undone.

Now, Armstrong has no choice but to slink off into the shadows.

He transcended sports and became a spokesperson for humanity against cancer, but by giving up on his fight to defend himself and his fight against USADA, he’s lost all credibility.

Armstrong and his brand would have been much better served admitting that he doped.

At least in that case, he has a defense: Everyone else was doing it, and I wanted to win, and you can’t win when everyone else is cheating.

That’s called a mistake, and it’s forgivable.

Unfortunately, for Armstrong, as he maintained his innocents, there is no excuse for giving up.

About Cody Swann

Cody Swann is an entrepreneur, developer, strategist, banged up ex-football walk-on, retired body builder and former journalist born and raised in South Florida. He currently splits his time between his hometown of Stuart, FL and Los Angeles, CA. Cody founded Gunner Technology, a highly sought after digital agency, specializing in helping companies maximize profits through custom web development, technology efficiencies, social media strategy and search engine marketing. As a manager and developer at ESPN for nearly six years, Cody led development and vision for two of ESPN’s most popular online features: Sports Scoreboards and GameCasts. Additionally Cody oversaw all aspects of MyESPN and ESPN’s social network, ESPN Fan Profiles. Cody worked with Technology, Editorial, Sales, Marketing and relevant business stakeholders to mold ESPN’s social media strategy, develop custom applications for it and execute it. Under his direction, ESPN successfully ported large portions of its core product from a proprietary Java stack to an open source Ruby on Rails stack, capable of standing up and performing under the tremendous load world's most popular sports site delivers. Cody began forging his technological knowledge more than 10 years ago, developing and designing websites in college. His development work has included web development, web design, content writing, digital photography and digital video production for award-winning sites like, and He has helped set digital strategy and direction for companies in the New York Times Regional Newspaper group, ESPN, ABC and Disney. He is a recognized expert in web development, social media strategy, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, analytics tracking and business planning. He has worked with large interactive media companies to small and medium sized businesses. Cody motivates and inspires creative teams to deliver superb, polished work under tight deadlines.

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