Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Livestrong & Sporting KC ready to end naming-rights deal

Sporting KC has terminated its stadium naming-rights deal with Livestrong.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

It looks like Sporting will be getting a new name for its stadium.
Sporting KC's CEO Robb Heineman has spent the better part of the past year maintaining that his club will keep the name Livestrong Sporting Park on its stadium. He apparently won't have to defend that position for much longer. ESPN's Darren Rovell reports that the six-year stadium naming-rights deal is set to end with both sides frustrated by the partnership.

The Livestrong Foundation maintains that Sporting failed to complete its 2012 obligation in a timely manner and that the charity had informed team officials that they had only paid $250,000 of their $1 million commitment. An official with Sporting refuted the claim, and Heineman released a statement to ESPN:

We were not expecting the foundation to treat a partner in this manner, especially given the tumultuous environment they have thrust us into over the past year - while we staunchly defended the mission of the foundation. Our faith and trust in this partnership has been permanently damaged; therefore we are terminating our agreement with Livestrong immediately.

All of this comes as Lance Armstrong, the charity's founder and former chairman, makes headlines for his upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey during which he will apparently admit to doping. Sporting announced earlier this month that it was searching for a sponsor for its jerseys. Heineman's complete statement can be found here. In it, he says that the stadium will now be known as "Sporting Park."

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