In cycling circles, every pedal stroke Lance Armstrong has taken in his long career has been scrutinized ad nauseum in cycling publications around the globe.But away from competition and as his career draws to a close, what Armstrong has accomplished off the bike is increasingly be viewed as more significant than the now approaching four-month-old doping allegations of former teammate Floyd Landis.
Armstrong is featured in the first television commercial for the Leaf, and Nissan is sticking with the seven-time Tour de France titlist as its official spokesperson depsite the current controversy.
In a recent interview with Ad Age, Jon Brancheau, Nissan’s new marketing chief, said the manufacturer will support the cyclist while continuing to monitor the situation.
Ad Age asked Brancheau:
“Nissan has made a pretty big bet on Lance Armstrong . . he was featured in the first Leaf commercial, is displayed prominently on your website and you even sponsor one of his cycling teams. Now, there’s a ton of scrutiny around him with regards to doping claims. Does that worry you?
“This is something we’ll continue to monitor, but the claims are all unsubstantiated up to this point. He’s iconic, and he’s almost the epitome of innovation when you think about athleticism. We’re well connected with [Lance] and we continue to support him and the team. He’s backing down to some degree from cycling in future years but we expect him to be actively engaged in a lot of different athletic events, especially marathons and things of that nature. So we’re staying the course and continue to support him.”