Sporting KC CEO: We've been disappointed with Livestrong relationship for some time
4:04 PM, Jan 18, 2013
7:17 PM, Jan 18, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Days after Sporting Kansas City and Livestrong severed ties, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman is calling the change one that has been a long time coming.
"We've felt it was a difficult thing to be a Livestrong partner for the past year and a half, frankly," Heineman said.
He said giving the naming rights to Livestrong two years ago was supposed to come with perks beyond the organization's name on the stadium.
"We thought we could have a lot of different positive events where we could leverage their brand, and leverage our expertise, or the fact that we do have this wonderful stadium to create things that would be lasting," Heineman said.
Livestrong and Lance Armstrong were supposed to be able to provide high-profile musical acts so the stadium could host concerts.
"We try to do things that make our community a cooler place to live, and more fun, and we just were never able to get to any of those. A lot of the fun got stripped out of the relationship pretty early on," Heineman said.
Heineman said without other events, the club was struggling to meet their part of the six-year agreement -- to donate about $7 million to cancer research.
Now that Livestrong is gone, Heineman said the club can finally focus on the future.
"I think we're going to have some good announcements here in the days and weeks to come on how we're going to remake our approach to cancer causes here in Kansas City," Heineman said. "That's what we're going to focus on for now."
But whose name does he want to appear on the sign at Sporting Park?
Heineman said he hopes to find a local sponsor that is focused on the community, and is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research.