T-Mobile ends cycling sponsorship

BBC SPORT | Other Sport… | Cycling | T-Mobile ends cycling sponsorship

“T-Mobile is to end sponsorship of its cycling team after a succession of doping scandals.

“Britons Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins now look set to ride for the rebranded Team High Road.

“”We came to this decision to separate our brand from further exposure from doping in sport,” said T-Mobile chief executive Hamid Akhavan.”

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my cycling — still my favorite spectator sport — but I note the end of the T-Mobile sponsorship in the context of marketing sponsorship risk, something that a brand needs to weigh when selecting a celebrity spokesman, sports star, or team to affiliate its name with.

Cycling’s massive decline — capped by the stripping of Floyd Landis’ Tour de France title from 2006, then sealed with the messy excuse of a race last summer, is a Greek tragedy on wheels. Add to that Marion Jones having her Olympic medals stripped, and then Barry Bonds indictment and it is astonishing to the extent to which sports — professional and amateur — has hit the skids thanks to doping and betting scandals.

So T-Mobile walks away from a team beset by scandal. The Discovery Channel walked away from its sponsorship of the team that carried Lance Armstrong to his astonishing feat.

Yet still we watch and still we cheer, but as marketers we need to guard against the splatter and blowback of a sponsorship gone tabloid.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “T-Mobile ends cycling sponsorship”

  1. and Busk Knives pulled OJ Simpson as it’s spokesman, although he apparently had some personal knowledgeof how useful they were.

    Did you know there was: a Nicole Brown Simpson Pez dispenser at the Pez Museum in Burlingame, CA? It’s been quietly taken out of the display, I guess.

    Heehee.
    Jim

  2. London has announced it would like to host more stages of the Tour De France in the future. London drew close to 3 million spectators for the 2007 Tour prologue indicating that even in London, one of the richest cities in the world, people are looking for sporting events that do not cost a 100 euros a ticket or more to attend. Watching the tour and its colorful parade is FREE, a rare thing indeed in professional sport.

    While is pains me to watch cyclist continue to make ridiculous defenses for positive drug tests, i cannot help but think that the average cyclist is an easier target then the average Tennis, football, baseball, olympic track athlete so cycling is suffering the Lions share of bad press from the media. Cycling doesn’t deserve its current sordid reputation. It brings sport and majesty to the public no other league even comes close to. As of now the only thing the UCI is guilty of is not doing as good a job of protecting its “league” as Bud Selig has done.
    !!!

    The Patriots are marching towards greatness but remember the season began with Bill B. busted for spying on his opponents in blatent disregard for league rules. Cheating- looking over your classmates shoulder in class. Have any sponsors pulled out? Does anyone care? Will it cast a pall over the a 20-0 season? No.

    End Rant

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