In 2016, Lance Armstrong launched the endurance-sports brand WEDU. It was an earnest rebranding effort for the fallen cyclist. “Who believes that the most meaningful revelations emerge at the far edge of your limits?” read the company's About page. “We do.”
Beyond that, the site didn't offer any specifics, seeming only to position WEDU as the umbrella brand for Armstrong's two podcasts, “The Move,” (formerly "Stages") where he provides in-depth analysis on cycling and triathlon races, and “The Forward,” where he conducts long-form interviews with an eclectic list of creatives and businesspeople. Scrolling farther down the WEDU site was surprisingly unhelpful for anyone looking for details on Armstrong's next venture: “WEDU is a mindset rooted in the belief that every challenge ignites a spark of growth and change.”
On Thursday, the brand finally debuted a re-designed WEDU website, this time featuring original editorial content, both of Armstrong's podcasts, and a $60-per-year membership program called Season Pass, which will give buyers live access to the podcasts, exclusive stories, and handpicked-by-Armstrong members-only gear. The stories range from training tips from world champion Ironman Craig Alexander to a short listicle of "Five Totally Badass Women."
Armstrong has shown a knack for clever branding with his other business ventures. In Austin, Texas, he already owns a coffee shop called Juan Pelota (a witty nod to his battle with testicular cancer) and a bike shop called Mellow Johnny's (a play on the French term for the Tour de France's famous yellow jersey). WEDU lacks that whimsy, perhaps because it's aimed at the core endurance crowd. With this project, Armstrong is hoping to reach and influence fans far beyond his Texas base.
“The goal is to build and foster community around a shared passion for endurance sports and the endurance lifestyle,” says editorial director Julia Polloreno, former editor-in-chief of Triathlete. Whether there's a large community ready to subscribe remains to be seen. For now, the WEDU relaunch provides a first glimpse at Armstrong's second act, something both fans and haters have been eagerly anticipating ever since the famed cyclist finally settled the federal whistleblower lawsuit in May.