Target: Mark Parker, CEO of Nike Inc.
Goal: For Nike Inc. to renew its contract with the cancer charity Livestrong
Nike Inc. will not be renewing its contract with cancer foundation, Livestrong, in 2014. This decision comes despite the fact that Lance Armstrong, former renowned cyclist, has stepped down from its board and the charity has done its best to distance itself from the man. Livestrong and Nike still have the opportunity to work together to fight cancer. Please urge Nike Inc. to renew Livestrong’s contract in 2014.
Lance Armstrong is a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, his winning run spanning from 1999 to 2005. He founded the Livestrong Foundation in 1997 after he discovered he had testicular cancer. Together, Livestrong and Nike have raised over $100 million for cancer survivor programs around the world. But all that is about to end.
After Armstrong admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs during his most recent Tour de France, Nike dropped its support. Though it said that it would continue to support Livestrong, it has since changed its mind. Nike will be ending its production of Livestrong apparel and gear, including those famous yellow wristbands.
Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman said that one of their biggest challenges will be the people who believe Nike created the Livestrong brand. “The brand outgrew the foundation message,” he says.
The Livestrong Foundation consists of 100 staff members who operate a helpline and walk-in clinic for patients, survivors, and family members. The foundation also offers counseling, works with other cancer centers on survivor services, and works both nationally and internationally to lobby governments for increased cancer funding.
The foundation has done nothing wrong. Please encourage Nike Inc. to renew its contract with Livestrong in 2014.
Dear Mark Parker,
Please reconsider Nike’s break with Livestrong. Lance Armstrong has already resigned as chairman and removed himself from the board. In time, the foundation will likely continue to distance itself from the athlete. Raising money for cancer survivors, patients, and family is admirable, and it would be magnanimous of you to renew your contract in order to give them a little more time. There is no reason for a cancer foundation to suffer due its founder’s actions, especially now that Lance Armstrong has distanced himself from the foundation.
You feel that your company has been duped by Armstrong for a decade and you have every right to feel that way, but Livestrong has been nothing but honest. It’s a good foundation doing good works. If they can continue without your support, they will. They’ll lower their budget, rely on reserves, and continue to raise money for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. They can continue without Nike’s support. They just shouldn’t have to.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: dpt via Flickr