In 2004, Nike and Lance Armstrong teamed up to create the LiveStrong yellow wristband to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which provides people with resources and support to fight cancer. To date, 80m wristbands have been sold.
In September 2008, Armstrong announced his plans to come out of retirement and ride in a series of races, culminating in the 2009 Tour de France to raise awareness for cancer research. This created a perfect opportunity for Nike and Lance to deliver an inspiring call to action: lead a healthy life, get involved with something you believe in, and speak out against cancer or other issues you face. The challenge was to inspire the feeling of living strong and give people a platform to inspire one another to overcome challenges.
It wasn't about winning or about money, but about doing your part. Nike asked consumers to share their stories of hope - those messages were collected and broadcast virtually and physically.
Films of Lance and other athletes who had battled cancer were posted on a central website (wearyellow.com) and tools were made available with digital tools to let consumers share their own messages.
During the Tour de France, supporters chalk the roads with messages to spur on the riders. Nike wanted to allow the messages of hope being collected in the USA to be placed onto the roads in France to inspire Lance. A robot christened Chalkbot was built. Consumers could send messages to Chalkbot via SMS, Twitter and web banners and the robot chalked the roads of the Tour. Once the message was printed onto the road, the Chalkbot photographed the message and sent it back to the sender and posted it online. TV network Versus integrated the Chalkbot into live coverage.
During the campaign, Livestrong sales increased by 46% and Nike donated more than $4m to the cause. Livestrong's Facebook community increased 77% from 290,000 to 558,000 members and the Chalkbot received over 23 thousand messages to be chalked on the roads.