The Livestrong wristband (stylized as LIVESTRONG) is a yellow silicone gel bracelet launched in May 2004 as a fund-raising item for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now known as the Livestrong Foundation) founded by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. The bracelet itself was developed by Nike and its advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, and comes in one color.
The bracelet is part of the "Wear Yellow Live Strong" program. The program is intended to raise money for the Livestrong Foundation which supports cancer survivorship. There have now been 80 million Livestrong bracelets sold to date. Individual bands sell for US$1 each.
Yellow was chosen for its importance in professional cycling, as it is the color of the yellow jersey worn by the leader of the Tour de France. Other charities were inspired by the success of the Livestrong band, and many charities have developed their own bracelets for raising money and awareness.
The band became a popular fashion item in the United States by the end of the summer of 2004, especially among those following Armstrong's Tour de France effort. They soon gained popularity worldwide. It first appeared on a majority of the contenders at the 2004 Tour de France. Personalities such as 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, news anchor Katie Couric, actor Matt Damon, and several athletes at the Athens Olympic Games wore the band. Appearances on and endorsements by popular TV shows such as Oprah, also raised its profile enormously.
A 2013 article by Dr Christopher Baker, Research Fellow in Social Investment and Philanthropy at Australia's Swinburne University of Technology, for "The Conversation" website, stated that the Oprah program has established that 80 million Livestrong wristbands have been sold globally.
2012 doping allegations
Following Armstrong's lifetime ban for doping by USADA, CNN reported that people were crossing out the "V" on the wristband so that it read "LIE STRONG". However, figures provided by the foundation to the ESPN media organization, in October 2012, reveal that revenues were up 2.1 percent, to US$33.8 million, through September 30, 2012—according to ESPN, this total represents a 5.4 percent increase from 2011, with a 5.7 percent increase in the average dollar amount of those donations (from US$74.88 in 2011 to US$79.15 in 2012).
Other similar wristbands
- Livestrong.org, Where the Money Goes, retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "SI.com". CNN. 2004-09-10.
- Dr Christopher Baker (20). "Spin: Lance Armstrong’s confession and Livestrong’s future". The Conversation. The Conversation Media Group. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Michael Pearson, "Lance Armstrong's legacy may withstand accusations", cnn.com, October 12, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- Darren Rovell (10). "Armstrong’s foundation still thriving". ESPN Playbook. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 23 January 2013.