When Lance Armstrong’s foundation teamed up with Nike in 2004 to raise money and awareness for cancer research, the marketing geniuses at Nike decided they should sell yellow silicone rubber wristbands. In a rare and unique interview on the Oprah Whinfrey show, Armstrong admitted that he never thought the Livestrong wristbands would sell. Boy was he wrong!
On OregonLive.com , the report discusses the interview with Oprah, Nike, and Armstrong: “Winfrey surprised Knight with taped greetings from some of the athletes who have teamed with Nike over the years: soccer star Mia Hamm, basketball player Charles Barkley, downhill skier Picabo Street and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
At the conclusion of Armstrong’s greeting, Knight experienced a “this is your life” moment, when Armstrong — to a standing ovation — walked out onto the stage for a bear hug with Knight.
Armstrong recounted how Nike came up with the idea of raising money for cancer awareness and research by selling yellow rubber wristbands that said “LiveStrong.”
The company thought 6 million could be sold, Armstrong said, while he privately thought, “We won’t get rid of 100,000 of these things.”
About 80 million have been sold.
At an event after the LiveStrong band had taken hold with consumers, Knight once leaned over to Armstrong at an event and said of the wristbands, “Hey, I thought that was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard.”
“I’d lean over,” Armstrong told Winfrey, “and say, ‘So did I.’ ”