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By John on Monday 22 Aug 2011
I had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Livestrong Challenge on this past Sunday. It is a biking and running event where riders and runners participate to raise money for Lance Armstrong's Foundation to fight cancer. Literally thousands of people attend. My son, John, participated and rode the 100 miles with many other riders and did a great job.
While there, it struck me how impressive this yellow juggernaut is. I think that Lance Armstrong must own that color and he is so intimately attached to it that I guess almost everyone, when they see a yellow jersey or wristband, think of his fight against cancer. That immediate and visceral reaction to a color is certainly what any brand would want to possess, and it has never been demonstrated any better or more thoroughly than what I saw over the weekend.
Of course, the yellow color that Lance has utilized initally came from all of the yellow jerseys he won in the Tour de France. It is a symbol of his victory over his own cancer and subsequent success as a professional cyclist. To further ingrain the color into people's consciousness and perhaps the best use of gel silicone ever, his foundation launched the yellow Livestrong wristband in 2004. More than 80 million have been sold since it was introduced. Undoubtedly a tremendous way to raise money and soldify the brand, the name, the color. It seemed at one point that almost everyone wore a Livestrong bracelet.
They were in no short supply at this event and yellow was everywhere: yellow hats and yellow flags and yellow jerseys and of course yellow wristbands. And it works. You want to be part of it. You want to buy a hat or a jersey or a wristband. It doesn't hurt that attending one of these events is so inspirational and moving. I stood at the finish line watching some of the cancer survivors finish their ride, each of them were given a yellow rose by a volunteer. You think to yourself, I want to help, I want to be part of that. And you do and you are. You stop at the Livestrong Store on the grounds and buy something. I got a yellow hat and I generally look terrible in hats. But I think that is what a great brand does, creates the want and need to buy the product. In this case, the product is fighting cancer and a lot of charites fight cancer but Livestrong has to be one of the best at what they do and how they do it. The Foundation has raised more that $325 million since its inception.
If you get the chance to attend or participate in one of these Livestrong Challenges, you should. I can guarantee you that you will be totally inspired and also that you will leave with something yellow on your head or body or wrist.