Most sports enthusiasts, and even those who aren’t, will probably remember the craze over the silicone wristbands made for Lance Armstrong’s foundation. The yellow livestrong wristbands earned over $65 million in a very short period of time. Below is an interesting article that takes us back to 2005 when a scam came out to make money off of this popular wristband. ESPN reports below:
“Six people have pleaded guilty to charges connected to the sale of thousands of phony LiveStrong wristbands and have turned over almost $112,000 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office said Monday.
In March, undercover investigators bought 1,000 of the counterfeit wristbands from a Manhattan storefront, authorities said.
Investigators said they found 81,000 more there and at a home in Queens. Authorities said importer Eastlink International Inc. distributed the wristbands to retailers around New York City.
The authentic wristbands sell for $1 each and help fund the foundation based in Austin, Texas, that provides services to cancer patients. The Armstrong foundation was started by the seven-time Tour de France winner after he defeated testicular cancer” (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/news/story?id=2146010).
In an attempt to raise awareness, a high school student a couple years ago was oddly faced to be secretive in order to do so. By selling rubber wristbands and involving the school janitors, he was able to make quite a difference. The intro to the story follows. For the rest of the story, follow the link at the end:
“These days, Justin Stanton laughs when he tells the story of how he and a bunch of friends at Bishop Guertin High School “went underground,” after school officials told them their newly conceived project wasn’t an acceptable school activity.
They sought out sympathetic teachers who secretly looked the other way so they could conduct their business. At lunchtime they infiltrated the crowded cafeteria, even recruiting friendly janitors willing to work in the shadows for the cause.
Now stop shaking, all you parents and teachers – it’s not what you think.
Stanton, finishing his second year at Bentley College, described it best in a written outline of how his project began and why it went underground:
“We secretly approached teachers who allowed us to quietly talk about our project and why it was so important to raise money for cancer.”
And the janitors’ role? “We made a deal with the janitors . . . who secretly sold our custom-made cancer wristbands during lunch without anybody finding out” (http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080531/COLUMNISTS16/949266184).
People are getting creative these days. As we know, jobs are tough to come by and wages are dropping daily. But, with innovative ideas and people who care, there are new ways to help you find a job. Here’s a great story about a couple of friends using silicone wristbands to help others find jobs:
“Lance Armstrong started the trend with his Livestrong foundation and the fight against cancer.
Now, two friends have taken those yellow wristbands and put them to another important use. Their cause is helping you find a job. And this story starts with their personal tales of financial heartache” (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/business/story/914943.html).
Go to the story’s website to find out just how successful this new venture is.
With so many various kinds of illnesses and other reasons to promote awareness, it may come as no surprise that rubber wristbands are being used for breast cancer awareness. These wristbands, made in just about every color, are made in pink to support breast cancer awareness. Buzzle.com has reported this:
“There are charities and causes build up each day everywhere we see. Instead of giving expensive donations, some of them think of making small donations at the same time keeping the cause in people’s view. The best example these days is pink color breast cancer wristband that could be obtained just for few dollars. This has not only become a fashion for teenagers but also famous among other age group. There are many other colored rubber wristbands used to generate such charity funds. Another example is Yellow wristbands, which are sold by the Lance Armstrong foundation to support cancer research.
You will find new style among Americans when we talk about supporting a good cause or charity. The fresh attitude about causes simply means wearing your thoughts and beliefs over your sleeves. Every where people tend to support colored and custom made wristband for many reasons. Color wristbands comes with different meanings – Yellow support “cancer awareness”, while pink color is denotes breast cancer”. These inexpensive wristbands are superb methods to give to a charitable trust at the same time maintaining it in the mind of people who see them on their arm. Not just a teen trend, there are striking adults also supporting them. Right from school teachers to managing executives to even five-year-olds, there’s a color-clad army set on the protest.
Pink color denotes awareness for breast cancer. Actually, this color goes for more than breast cancer wristbands helping the cause. It could be found on visors, fancy shirts, water bottles, and even bath time toys for kids. This simply states that we now have massive pink movement going and breast cancer is also getting a huge public focus when compared to past. For supporting this cause even the famous celebrities are coming forward with their personal battles with this illness. It was never before have so many individuals made civic their fight with a private illness nor have so many individual came as one to unite for an only cause” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/build-up-awareness-with-breast-cancer-wristbands.html).
There are probably over a hundred reasons why companies or non-profit organizations might want to use silicone wristbands . The fact is, they are so effective and useful because they are so popular and so easily customizable. Recently, an article came out describing a few ideas. Here’s what author Bryan Peter reports:
“For instance the Lance Armstrong Foundation who fights cancer came up with their famous yellow color wristbands which were sold in millions across the globe raising money for their charity and it made people stand up for the cause and fight the disease. Coming to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights group gives away and also sells wristbands for their activists and members, this helps them to bring awareness for the cause and raise some money. As both these organizations have targeted their silicone wristbands at youths it has become really famous. The designs were also made to attract them for the cause, and it slowly turned to be a fashion statement!
Do you remember Tsunami relief wristbands from the American Red Cross? These Tsunami relief wristbands were sold to get funds for the American Red Cross society to support the reconstruction efforts in Southeast Asians who were affected by the disastrous waves. So thanks to these silicone bracelets for helping those who are in need! Here are some tips that will help organizations to raise some funds via wristbands. Firstly see that you target the young adults; the color and message on the wristbands has to be definitely attractive and catchy. Try to design your wristbands differently, and see that it has something unique. For example it can be ‘glow in dark’ bands or key chains. Or the band can be broader, which is again not a common design when it is compared to the ordinary bracelets” (http://www.powerhomebiz.com/News/072008/silicone-wristbands.htm).
The silicone (rubber) wristband has grown in popularity since the 1980s. They have been used for all kinds of purposes, from raising cancer awareness to uniting sports teams. Now, with new technology, Nike has created a rubber wristband that keeps people in shape. Here’s what the Examiner.com is reporting:
“Featuring an adjustable, two-toned wristband (available in either black/yellow, or grey/pink), the SportBand has a removable USB key that communicates with the Nike+ sensor (included). Simply place the sensor under the insert in any Nike+ shoe and you are ready to go.
Pressing the tracker button for 3 seconds puts the band into record mode. It is in this mode that the unit keeps track of your run, and will capture your run stats until you press the button again for 3 seconds. Nice and easy so far.
Once you are done with your run (which for my test was a little over a mile), remove the usb key from the band and plug it into your computer. A quick registration on the site will allow you to upload the results of your run so that you can see how you are doing, as well as set goals for yourself (including distance and calories burned). As you can see in the image below, the uploaded stats show the distance run, time spent running, and the pace (the green wavy line) of your run” (http://www.examiner.com/x-14019-Baltimore-Gadgets-Examiner~y2009m7d31-A-handson-look-at-the-Nike-Sportband-2009).
While Lance Armstrong’s foundation, named after him, has earned hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer patients and research, his livestrong wristband has only been around for about five years. Yet, the wristbands have made over $65 million by themselves. Here’s a story that USA Today reports:
“Armstrong feels an intense connection to cancer patients and their families.
He survived the disease in 1996, after cancer spread from his testicles to his abdomen, lungs and brain. Although he’s now cancer-free, his chances for survival then were “less than a coin toss.”
The next year, he started the Lance Armstrong Foundation. In 12 years, the foundation has raised more than $310 million, including $65 million from the sale of yellow LIVESTRONG wrist bands. He returned to competitive cycling this year, after a 3½-year retirement, to raise awareness about the disease. He’s not collecting a salary from his cycling team” (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-23-lance_N.htm).
It’s not uncommon to see rubber wristbands worn on people of all ages and in all kinds of locations. At a recent Baptist church party, many could be seen wearing the rubber wristbands . The purpose of the event was to give away backpacks and school supplies. This story comes from the courier-journal out of Louisville, Kentucky:
“Diamond Floyd selected her prize from a bag of assorted-colored rubber wristbands after successfully banking enough tennis balls into a laundry basket at a block party held Sunday evening by Walnut Street Baptist Church.
Floyd was just one of several children who attended the carnival-like party at Second and St. Catherine streets in Old Louisville as part of the church’s fifth annual school backpack and supply giveaway for neighborhood children of all ages.
“It’s a fun way to get school supplies,” the 11-year-old Highland Middle School student said after putting on her wristband.
Free backpacks and supplies for children in kindergarten through high school were provided, said Kris Billiter, minister to family and students at the church and one of the event’s organizers” (http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090809/NEWS01/908090347/School+backpacks+handed+out+at+church+block+party).
Even in France, where Lance Armstrong isn’t exactly a popular athlete, it seems like fans will do just about anything to get an autograph. His Livestrong wristbands , which are now famous the world over, are being used to get his autograph. Check out what NECN.com Sports reports:
“From the start, it looked as if this Tour would be his toughest.
His biggest threat came from his own Astana teammate, 26-year-old Alberto Contador…a racer who said the 38-year-old Armstrong is both his idol and his rival.
During Sunday’s mountainous Stage 15 — an area where Armstrong normally excels — Contador left him in second place and the rest of the field far behind.
After four years off, Armstrong may not be wearing the yellow jersey but says that’s OK.
For Lance Armstrong, second place may be unfamiliar territory, but this time around it’s not unwelcome.
Armstrong says he got back on his bike in part to draw attention to his cancer foundation. He has never been a favorite in France, but this year, fans are lining up wearing Livestrong bracelets to get his autograph” (http://www.necn.com/Boston/Sports/2009/07/20/Armstrong-says-Contador/1248104442.html).
Custom wristbands seem to be most popular when it comes to cancer awareness campaigns. But, as we know, they can be used for just about anything. The new trend, probably in line with so many of the “Go Green” campaigns is to stop global warming. Here is a brief article from the San Francisco Business Times that discusses this new idea:
Tired of jewelry that just doesn’t make a statement?
Buy an “I’m tired of global warming” bracelet — only $10 — and $5 will go to the Rainforest Action Network, which tackles environmental problems through marketing campaigns.
Right now the group is pressing Janet Nixon, wife of Royal Bank of Canada CEO Gordon Nixon, in an effort to convince RBC to stop funding tar sand development in Alberta, Canada. Your bracelet purchase could aid these and other efforts.
If global warming isn’t your schtick, you can also get bumper stickers, bracelets and t-shirts expressing the exhaustion you feel regarding cancer, animal cruelty, coal, diabetes, discrimination, autism, breast cancer, world hunger, alzheimer’s and more at Imtiredonline.com. You can even get a bracelet that claims you’re tired of “bogeys” – yeah, like shooting-over-par-in-golf bogeys. The proceeds go not to Padraig Harrington (sorry about that 16th hole at Bridgestone, Padraig), but to Caddy-for-a-Cure, which supports the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, the Wounded Warrior Project and the PGA Tour Caddy Benevolent Fund among others.
I don’t know how effective the bracelets themselves will be in summoning people to action to fight specified causes, but Livestrong bracelets have done wonders for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and they’re even cheaper than the $10, not-too-remarkable trinkets that will fight global warming. Just remember, the polar bears, but probably not Janet Nixon, will thank you” (http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2009/08/save_the_planet_buy_a_bracelet.html).