- Jason Davis

In the midst of a pre-season news lull, which is fortuitously timed for yours truly thanks to some work-related blogging complications (read: I risk termination if I blog during the day), Sporting Kansas City announced that the naming rights for their shiny new home will go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in the form of their brand "LIVESTRONG."

The venue will be officially named "LIVESTRONG Sporting Park." 

Good for SKC. While it would be unfair to assume that the club wasn't able to find a stadium sponsor willing to fork over a requisite amount of cash, that's certainly a possibility. If it was the case, and SKC didn't see value in an branding agreement that brought in less money than they'd have liked, then slapping a cancer foundation's logo, especially one as well known and pervasive as Livestrong, makes a lot of sense.

There is financial benefit to Kansas City, make no mistake. As with other clubs around the world, Sporting should be able to their charitable efforts to knock down their tax bill. That shouldn't mute the good feelings around the announcement necessarily, but it is important to keep in mind. Livestrong gets their name on a stadium, Sporting gets the press and write off. Everyone's happy.

There are some negative feelings surrounding the Livestrong brand these days. Lance Armstrong, for all the good he's done for victims of cancer, is no longer the all-American golden boy he was just a few years ago. Evidence is building that he cheated during this cycling career, specifically in winning a record seven consecutive Tours de France. That publicity will undoubtedly rub off on SKC.

Most of the publicity will be of the positive variety, however, and it would be wrong to conflate Armstrong's (possible) cheating with the work being done by Livestrong. Word is that the news of Livestrong becoming the title sponsor of Sporting Park trended worldwide on Twitter*. Armstrong and Livestrong are massive names, regardless of suspicion surrounding the former's athletic career, giving SKC a type of notoriety they were unlikely to get with any other sponsor. The usual suspects (a ubiquitous multinational) or a local brand wouldn't drive the type of interest that Sporting received yesterday.

Most of the attention, at least on a national level, will fade. But any lingering interest will serve the club well as they attempt to make a mark with a new look and a new building. The uniqueness of the partnership is certainly worth celebrating.

*I didn't see it myself, but there's not reason to doubt it happened.

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