Throughout the late '90s and early '00s Lance Armstrong was arguably the most popular athlete in the United States. Still, his narrative was predominantly "Lance against the world." His LIVESTRONG campaign, perhaps intentionally, is both honorable and incredibly self-serving.
Armstrong, however noble his cause, seems to equate his own athletic successes with surviving cancer. The line between Armstrong the man and Armstrong's cause is often blurred. Any criticism of the cheating bicyclist comes off as an affront to curing cancer. Rallying a brand base in this fashion is fine when the naysayers are largely exaggerated and, occasionally, imaginary. But it makes you look like a jackass when evidence shows that the hinge point of your campaign is as slimy as his bike chain.