Lance Armstrong’s $75 million day

77295114(1)The most interesting thing to come out of last week’s Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey, at least for this blogger, was Armstrong’s reference to his “$75 million day.”

According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), it’s difficult to say exactly what the extent of Armstrong’s financial fallout will be as a result of his doping confession. The Journal notes that Armstrong’s net worth is estimated to exceed $100 million and that “last fall, he took out a $1.85 million line of credit, secured by his home in central Austin, which is valued at more than $3 million, public records indicate.”

What is certain, however, is Armstrong’s loss of valuable endorsement income. The value of each specific endorsement has not been made public, but here is a look at some of the major contracts he has lost since October 10, when the US Anti-Doping Agency released a 202-page summary of its investigation of Armstrong, saying his cycling career was “fueled from start to finish by doping.”

Nike became the first sponsor to cut ties with Armstrong on October 17, the date he claims to have lost $75 million. The company issued a press release that it terminated its contract with the cyclist “due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade.”

Nike was the leader of the pack, and within 10 hours a handful of other companies followed suit. The list includes Trek Bicycles, 24 Hour Fitness, Anheuser-Busch, and RadioShack. The last one to fall, Oakley, did so on October 22. The sunglasses maker said it was waiting to hear whether UCI, cycling’s governing body, would strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. On October 22, UCI announced that it would.

Three months later, one company benefited from Armstrong’s scandal: OWN. Oprah’s television network originally aired the two-part interview on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18. Worldwide, the broadcast was seen by a total of 28 million people.  It played in 190 countries, including Australia, Belgium, France, and South Africa, and in 30 languages.

OWN used the opportunity to heavily promote other upcoming programs. It did so with the hope that such efforts will ultimately help boost the network’s less than stellar ratings.

Amy Schein

Amy Schein is an Industry Specialist at First Research, where she covers various aspects of the media industry. She earned her BS and MA in media studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Amy on Twitter.

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