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Rating:American Century Places its Bet on Lance Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, February 9, 2006

American Century Places its Bet on Lance

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Advisors who sell American Century's mutual funds may want to get a yellow bracelet in case they get a chance to meet up with bicycle racing legend Lance Armstrong.

The Kansas City-based fund firm with $100 billion of assets under management has signed on the seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor to appear in its latest ad campaign, which kicks off tomorrow.

Armstrong will also participate in select employee events, press-related activities, client meetings/conferences and the annual American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament broadcast each July on the NBC Network.

The first batch of ads, showing the 34-year-oldís image with the words "Put Your Lance Face On," will run in major dailies and investment-oriented magazines. Television ads will premiere in May.

This marks the first time that American Century has enlisted a celebrity to serve as the face of the firm, a spokesperson confirmed.

The moves comes months after Fidelity Investments launched an ad campaign featuring ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.

American Century is rolling out a series of mutual funds called LIVESTRONG Portfolios, in May. The firm will make an annual payment to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Investors in these portfolios will not shoulder any portion of this expense, company officials said.

In a statement, Armstrong called the collaboration a "wonderful match given my interest improving lives through better health and fitness and American Centuryís commitment to financial well-being."

He added that he hopes to "motivate and inspire investors to make every financial decision count."

William Lyons, president and chief executive officer of American Century, drew parallels between Armstrong and the firmís founder, Jim Stowers Jr. Both cancer survivors, the two are "using their success and fame to improve the lives of others," he said, citing the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Stowers Insitute for Medical Research, the biomedical research facility founded by Stowers and his wife Virginia, also a cancer survivor. 

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