Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong gets a boost from Demand Media
Bicycle racing champion Lance Armstrong is going dot-com in a big way.
The seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor is teaming with Santa Monica-based Demand Media on a for-profit website that helps users stay on track with fitness and weight-loss goals.
LiveStrong.com, a spinoff of Armstrong’s nonprofit site LiveStrong.org, is scheduled to emerge from a test version tonight.
LiveStrong.com will be run by Demand Media, with Armstrong and his Lance Armstrong Foundation getting undisclosed stakes in that new-media company.
Armstrong’s foundation will also get the right to use some of Demand Media’s software tools for connecting users on the LiveStrong.org volunteer site.
Like some smaller health sites, LiveStrong.com offers space for food and exercise diaries. But it also has social-networking features to connect users to those with similar goals and a trove of text and video content that is produced by paid freelancers.
The structure is partly based on TheDailyPlate.com, a food and fitness site already owned by Demand Media. Founded two years ago, Demand Media has raised $355 million from private investors and spent some of that to acquire how-to sites EHow and ExpertVillage and various special-interest sites.
Demand Media is led by Richard Rosenblatt, best known for selling Intermix Media Inc., the parent of MySpace, to News Corp. for $580 million in 2005. Armstrong met Rosenblatt last year, after Rosenblatt joined the board of an energy drink maker, FRS Co., in which Armstrong is an investor and director.
-- Joseph Menn
Photo: Lance Armstrong with his children in 2005 after winning his seventh Tour de France. Credit: Peter Dejong / Associated Press