View Full Version : Yikes... that's a lotta dough...

05-29-2011, 08:43 PM
The Tour Down Under is partially funded by the South Australian Government. Race staff have long acknowledged that Armstrong has been paid a fee, believed to be up to $3 million per year to attend the Australian WorldTour event, however the exact figure is deemed "commercially in confidence" by the South Australian Government.

Some folks in Australia aren't thrilled with their tax dollars paying a substantial appearance fee to LA. Lately, moreso.

05-29-2011, 08:52 PM
All the big names are paid big bucks, is the only way to bring attention to the events.

3 million to do nothing tho :P

05-29-2011, 09:07 PM
I be here... Adelaide, home of the TDU, I mean.

Some people in Adelaide are grumpy about just about everything.

Somehow, in the mists anger, accusations of cheating, sporting fraud and so on, you get another look at the story.

Cue Armstrong's first visit to the TDU following his un-retirement, in 2009. Our State Premier Mike Rann (sorta like a US governor) was positively sucky and sycophantic, rolling up with his new chum Lance to photo-opportunities, press launches... if they had a camera there Mike 'n Lance would hug for the footage. Including as it happened, the announcement of a new joint-funded cancer research centre which - it was announced - Armstrong made a precondition of his attending and racing. Speaking of racing, when this guy could have been recovering, resting, getting a massage etc he was stumping around the town with his new pal. He was really putting it out there on the PR front. And it worked, media attention on the TDU was up fivefold, attendances at the side of the road went through the roof, the local paper had 'Lance spotting' paparazzi when he was out on training rides...

2010. LA was back, Mike Rann was still a sucky fan, and some people were questioning the cost vs benefit. Once again, LA spent more time post race meeting people, doing stuff than he did resting.
One morning LA was coming downstairs to be whisked off to another PR event when a young boy and his dad stepped forward to meet the great man getting out of an elevator. They asked for a moment of his time, as the boy was recovering from cancer... Armstrong's media minder stepped in and tried to steer the kid away, but LA took the kid's hand, stepped back into the elevator, took the kid and his father upstairs and spent at least 5 minutes talking to this kid, gave him a Radioshack jersey and cap, and was completely attentive. Then - and only then - did he allow himself to be taken downstairs for the waiting media opportunity. Oh yeah, and later that morning he was racing his bike.

I don't know much about LA, and whether he doped, I think sporting fraud is disgraceful, and he's not my favourite rider by a long shot. Also, it just isn't that simple, he may be a complex character with flaws - just like you and me .

As to the money, which was your point. It was worth it. In this day and age government - all government - is a wasteful and shockingly expensive business. Hell, or parliamentarians superannuation payments make to fees paid to LA look like chump change, so don't even get me started on the cost of freeway construction, the refurbishment of government offices, or the pork-barrelling before each and every election. At the time the reported fee was A$2m but I've no idea. It was worth it.

05-29-2011, 09:25 PM
Lance or the charity?


05-29-2011, 09:49 PM
It's not fraud to incur expenses to raise funds. Many charities pay a fundraising individual 10%, or more, plus the cost of events, such as a ball, fun run, etc. Lance Armstrong is a huge target. I think he's been unfairly maligned by some, such as the author of the blog. His foundations have disclosed theiir expenses, and Lance has never been seen to benefit personally. He's been very genorous with his time to visit cancer patients and survivors, and he should be admired for that. What a great source of inspiration to so many people. If he doped, I don't think it makes anything he's done less meaningful - it seems that not a day passes in which we see how so many athletes and celebrities are made of clay. Sport seems to be full of athletes getting by with PED's. Football, basketball, baseball. One thing that Lance did differently from the dopers - train, train, train. I'm still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Landis lacks credibility, Hamilton looked like he was making up a story in front of the camera. This thing has become a witchunt and theater of the absurd.

In his comeback period, LA made many public appearances and actions in support of cancer patients (videos, chalk bot, names on his frame). He also raised millions for research in every country he raced. I can only admire him for that. Frankly, the action was quite fun with him. Contador and Schleck are pale imitations of him.

05-29-2011, 09:55 PM
$.45 spent to raise $1.00 seems like a lot for a charity with his name recognition.

If you are good with that, fine. I think it's excessive.

05-29-2011, 10:55 PM
I understand the doping part but don't get down on him for his politicking on behalf of, as well raising money and awareness for cancer just cause you don't like the guy.

05-30-2011, 06:42 AM
Similar fees to what Tiger was getting to play some European tour events. Illegal to pay appearance fees on PGA tour, but paid all of the time on the European Tour.

The payment that always bothered me was the large payment paid to Greg Norman in his prime to play in the Australian Open. Did not seem to me you should have to pay him big dollars to play in his own country's open.


05-30-2011, 06:43 AM
Nothing to do with Lance, just facts:

Cancer causes an emotional response, and it would seem that a great many of the charities involved with cancer tap into that.

Livestrong has improved over the years, as you would expect with such a high profile athlete, but still has a ways to go.

05-30-2011, 07:34 AM


Interesting concept. A organization working on 100% donations rating the effectiveness of other charitable organization and not providing any information on themselves.

05-30-2011, 08:12 AM
Interesting concept. A organization working on 100% donations rating the effectiveness of other charitable organization and not providing any information on themselves.

Their financials are readily available.

Sometimes emotions get in the way of facts. I understand that.

05-30-2011, 08:47 AM
fair point, down here there are many charities raising $$ to 'fight cancer' or 'find a cure', and you know, sometimes when I look at their fancy corporate headquarters and annual executive vehicles etc I wonder at their total commitment to the professed cause.

After all, what are they gonna do? Success means the end of their raison d'etre.

Anyone know how many $$$$ raising charities there are worldwide devoted to 'fighting cancer?

Rueda Tropical
05-30-2011, 02:00 PM
Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) rates Livestrong 3 out of 4 stars. So while there is room for improvement (there are more then a few 4 star cancer charities) it is by no means a scam. Corporations, celebrities and politicians all use the work they do for charity to build their brand and burnish their image. Which in turn adds to their personal bottom line.

You get a tax break for giving, McDonald's gets positive brand recognition for Ronald McDonald House. Sure Lance makes money off of the additional value to his brand but I don't have a problem with that so long as the commercial self-interest side is not out of proportion to the benefit to the charity.

As far as the Australian government is concerned -it's a straight business proposition. Would they have got more bang for their buck spending the money on advertising or in some other way. I doubt it. Whatever you think about Armstrong, he is a huge draw. Despite the fact that cycling is probably on a par with shuffleboard in popularity here, Armstrong is as recognizable a name as any Football, Golf or Basketball star and when he participates it draws huge crowds.

05-30-2011, 02:27 PM
I have no more interest in what a foreign gov't/race organization pays Lance than I do in the FDA investigating Lance's activities in Switzerland in the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

FWIW, without knowing how much money the race made, the budget or the impact on the local economy, it seems that Lance's fee lacks context.

05-30-2011, 02:34 PM
I have no more interest in what a foreign gov't/race organization pays Lance than I do in the FDA investigating Lance's activities in Switzerland in the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

FWIW, without knowing how much money the race made, the budget or the impact on the local economy, it seems that Lance's fee lacks context.
What he said!


05-30-2011, 08:57 PM
i should have seen your tagline - definitely, you are a curmedgeon.

there are many charities that have higher name recognition - american cancer society, american heart association, and then non-governmental organizations, such as the audubon society, nature conservancy, etc. check out their costs - similar.

don't forget that there is a huge staff offering phone support to cancer patients. ask someone who has used the services of livestrong what they think of the organization. free advice, free referrals, free assistance in locating in clinical trials. i'll continue to support them. lance's reputation is longer than the amazon and twice as wide and deep as the grand canyon. everyone knows he's a self-centered a-hole. however, livestrong is a great organization, and he's been a great philanthropist and inspiration to people suffering such an awful disease.

enough said!