Telling the Difference Between Real and Fake LiveStrong Yellow Wristbands

LiveStrong Wristband Packaging Examples: Fake packaging shown at left
LiveStrong Packaging (Front): Here is
a photo comparing the appearance of
the front of point-of-sale packaging for a
counterfeit (fake) LiveStrong Wristband with
the packaging for a genuine LiveStrong
Wristband. Click on the photo for a
much larger image. [ Photo: Dave Aiello ]

Note: This is one of the most widely read articles ever published on Operation Gadget.  Since this article was written in 2004, The LiveStrong foundation has started selling Livestrong Wristbands directly to the public.  For more information, visit store.livestrong.org/wristbands.html.


This is the original article:

About a month ago, I pointed out the report that WCBS-TV in New York broadcast on the increasing availability of counterfeit LiveStrong Yellow Wristbands at convenience stores, dollar stores, and kiosks at shopping malls in the New York Metropolitan Area. At the time, I received a number of requests for photos illustrating the difference between the packaging used on counterfeit and legitimate LiveStrong wristbands. I'm happy to report that I finally have those photos.

In the photos shown at the right, a fake and real LiveStrong wristband are shown side-by-side. Clicking on either of the photos will display a much larger image. The larger photos will be a great deal more helpful for identification purposes.

  • The price tag. I purchased this Fake LiveStrong Wristband for $3.00 in order to show you what a counterfeit product looked like. Retailers who are authorized to sell LiveStrong wristbands will only sell genuine wristbands and will not charge more than $1.00 in the United States.
  • The slogan "COURAGE, STRENGTH, VICTORY"on the Fake wristband package. This slogan has never been used by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
  • The term "LIVESTRONG" does not have the trademark symbol next to it. The trademark symbol is the letters "TM" next to the "G" on the front of the Real package.
  • The Nike logo is not present on the Fake package, but it is on some of the Real packages. Some genuine LiveStrong packaging shipped by the LAF does not have the Nike logo on it, but has other unique ways that it be identified.

LiveStrong Wristband Packaging Examples: Fake packaging shown at left
LiveStrong Packaging (Back): Here is
a photo comparing the appearance of
the back of point-of-sale packaging for a
counterfeit (fake) LiveStrong Wristband and
the packaging for a genuine LiveStrong
Wristband. Click on the photo for a
much larger image. [ Photo: Dave Aiello ]

Moving on to the back of the packages, there are a number of obvious differences here that can be used to identify genuine LiveStrong Yellow Wristbands:

  • Description of the LiveStrong Programon the Real wristband package. The description reads:
    The Lance Armstrong Foundation provides information and support to young cancer survivors and their families. Join Lance by wearing a "LIVE STRONG" yellow wristband. All proceeds benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. www.laf.org
  • $1 priceon the Real wristband package. The $1 price is printed on the package at the factory.
  • The UPC Codeon some Real wristband packages. The Nike branded version of the LiveStrong wristband package has a UPC code that's scannable by a cash register. Some genuine LiveStrong wristband packages shipped by the LAF did not have the Nike logo and also did not have the UPC code or the reference to www.wearYELLOW.com shown here.
  • The Lance Armstrong Foundation Logo on some Real wristband packages. Some genuine LiveStrong wristband packages have the Lance Armstrong Foundation logo printed on the back. The packages I've seen that have the LAF logo on the back do not have the Nike logo on the front or the www.wearYELLOW.com URL on the back.

I hope these photos help you pick out the counterfeit LiveStrong wristbands that are out there, so you can avoid buying them. If anyone has any photos of LiveStrong Wristband packaging that differs from these photos and you know are legitimate, send them to us at tips [at] operationgadget.com.