Following an arbitration award decision filed last Friday, eight-time Tour de France podium finisher Lance Armstrong has announced he hopes to pay a $10 million fraud penalty with help from popular Crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter.
“I suppose Lance is really excited”, he said.
The former professional cyclist is reportedly optimistic about his chances of repaying the amount he is now adjudged to owe SCA Promotions, the insurer that covered a win-bonus policy taken out by his employer, the U.S. Postal Service racing team, against possible Armstrong Tour victories between 2001 and 2004.
“It’s perhaps no exaggeration to describe this as our greatest battle. But the sacred trinity of awareness, online fund transferral and survivorship will help Lance prevail against the forces of naivety, shameless nit-picking and, um, you know I used to have cancer?”
With Crowdfunding, the 1993 Road World Champion explained, pledges of investment towards a cause or business venture get rewarded with gifts which range in size and value to reflect the amount of money pledged.
“We have various tiers of possible financial involvement for Lance’s legions of fans, who really need to get behind this. I hope they all understand the gravity of Lance getting hit for ten million all on his own”, Armstrong continued.
“For example, I have about twelve or thirteen big boxes of these yellow plastic bracelets in the basement. We’re talking Lance’s basement here.”
“But you’d imagine anybody who ever wanted one probably already has one”, he conceded.
Although I guess Lance could autograph some postcards, too”, he mused.
Traditionally, a Crowdfunding campaign sets a target sum to be raised with a deadline for said target to be reached. In the event of a campaign not hitting its financial goal, all pledged monies are returned to their potential investors.
“They should be good for ten dollars a go, right?”, he reasoned. “A bracelet and a postcard? Plus postage and packaging. Still, that’s a lot of postcards to take me over the top. Anyway, I’m not sure Lance could go for actually signing a million postcards.”
He nevertheless went on to declare his willingness to sort through the four crates of used bike parts in his garage, stating that each piece could be dispatched on a Lucky Dip basis to any backers pledging $100 or more.
“Of course, maybe people could also just pledge money without me giving them anything in return. That would work too”, he said.
Blue Skies Thinking
While admitting that the theoretical scenario of millions of backers each pledging a small sum without strings attached appealed to him on some self-validating emotional level, the 2005 inductee to France’s Légion d’Honneur confirmed he would ultimately prefer to see a small handful of backers weighing in with larger cash amounts.
“I’ve got a bunch of yellow jerseys here, they’ve got to be worth something to somebody. I mean, surely out of seven billion people in the world there must be seven super-rich bike geeks out there who’d each be happy to give me a million and a half for one of my winning Tour jerseys.”
Kool Aid Drinking
“Okay, okay. Winning asterisk quote-unquote Tour jerseys.”
“And maybe make that 2 million. They tell me Kickstarter takes some kind of a cut too?”
Armstrong concluded his remarks by saying that any wealthy oil sheiks or Russian oligarchs interested in having him do something odd with a bicycle at a birthday party for money could get in touch via his Facebook page.
“Aside from all this, I’d just like to go on the record as saying I’ve always been proud to call Matthew McConnaughey a friend”, he added.
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