The Major League Soccer club, Sporting Kansas City said it’s agreement on naming-rights of the team’s stadium with Livestrong, the cancer-fighting charity launched by Lance Armstrong, is finished. Sporting Kansas City said it would part ways with Livestrong, which claimed the soccer club failed to live up to a financial agreement struck between the two organizations in March 2011.
Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman released a statement on the club’s website which read in part:
Over the course of the past year, it became clear that LIVESTRONG no longer shared the same spirit of partnership, despite our perseverance to the contrary. We realized at the time this could be the beginning of a tumultuous period for the foundation. We were patient as they sorted through these issues. Despite the distractions, leadership from LIVESTRONG and Sporting Club were actively engaged in discussions to redefine expectations for both parties. Based on assurances from key LIVESTRONG leadership, we believed this ongoing dialogue was very positive.
This morning we were disappointed to learn LIVESTRONG is utilizing aggressive tactics designed to force us into an unsatisfactory arrangement. We willingly admit we were not expecting the foundation to treat a partner in this manner. Even more surprising is that LIVESTRONG would take this action in the midst of a significant transitional phase for their organization.
LIVESTRONG contends that Sporting KC only paid $250,000 of a proposed $1 million agreement for 2012. The news doesn’t get better this week for the charity foundation, the same week that Armstrong admits using performance-enhancing drugs to Oprah Winfrey, during a record-breaking cycling career highlighted by seven Tour de France titles, which have been stripped.