But no; let’s not call that too early. Lion Breweries and specifically Steinlager, has decided that it’s a really good idea to get Lance Armstrong down here to get some attention and do some ads.
World sport’s most disreputable figure with his orchestrated campaign of cheating, bullying, violence, and a disgusting lack of an apology is seen as just the ambassador for a whacky ironic advertising campaign.
Steinlager, historically, has not been like other breweries. It hasn’t been a shock rural brand like Tui with an obvious brand of marketing. And it’s not a provincial brew like Speights or Waikato Draught etc
It has been New Zealand’s beer. Remember those “They’re drinking our beer here ads ? It has been a cornerstone of NZ Inc since the 1980s.
They sponsored the All Blacks for years, and they were part of the Family of Five topping up government contributions into the Americas Cup, and they were meant to be our beer.
Let’s not show Armstrong any compassion whatsoever. He is the most cynical product of all that is wrong in the modern sports era. He was right in that it was not all about the bike, it was about a ruthless campaign of science, manipulation, and most importantly, bullying.
Don’t read that nauseatingly hypocritical piece referenced about; instead read David Walsh’s outstanding book Seven Deadly Sins. It has to go down as the best investigative journalism sports books of all time. The Texan ran a systematic campaign of bullying, backed by the warchest of the fraud that was the Livestrong campaign
Yet some strange people, and some yellow bracelets were spotted in the footage of the ego-ride in Auckland early this morning. You can’t explain that, but you would expect a major New Zealand company to understand.
And those parents who took their children along. That was pretty jaw-dropping.
It does highlight the hit that craft beer is laying on the established breweries.