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another sponsor bites the dust

edited June 2007 in Pro race
first cofidis, now credit agricole are to end sponsorship

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  • from velonews:
    Cr‚dit Agricole ending sponsorship
    French bank Cr‚dit Agricole announced it will end its long-running title sponsorship at the end of the 2008 season. The announcement came Friday that it would not prolong beyond next season its sponsorship that began in 1998.

    "Cr‚dit Agricole has decided to refocus its sporting sponsorship," Roger Legeay, manager of the French ProTour team, told AFP. "It's normal for a cycling team to see its sponsorship end. Ten years is a vote of confidence for the results which we garnered and our line of conduct."

    Legeay said he is confident he will be able to find another sponsor to keep the program alive. Such riders as Thor Hushovd, Pietro Caucchioli, Nicolas Roche and Saul Raisin are among the team's 28 riders.

    The decision comes as the French ProTour teams are at a crossroads in terms of sponsorship.

    Cofidis announced earlier this year it would be ending its long-running cycling sponsorship while Ag2r-Pr‚voyance continues through the end of 2009. Bouygues Telecom and Francaise des Jeux, the other two French ProTour teams, haven't revealed the futures of their respective sponsorships.
  • AlderleyAlderley Posts: 162
    Don't worry, plenty of sponsors want the publicity that they get in the T de F, PRO Cycling will never run out of sponsors[:)]

    www.i-team.co.uk
  • SlimtimSlimtim Posts: 1,042
    Alderley, can't say I agree with you. Pro cycling will always pick up some sponsors but even now it boasts rather second rate names - I don't see a Coca Cola team for example and I'm sure no one would turn their money down.

    The big hitters will always look for mass market sports - cycling isn't one and its appeal as a commercial property is dwindling by the month as the revelations mount up.

    Those directly involved with the sport and the cycling industry will want to sponsor teams but they have shallow pockets compared to major consumer goods brands.

    I have said it a few times on this forum and unfortunately events bear it out, pro cycling lives and dies by the TV audience that it attracts. If that TV audience dwindles because viewers no longer believe what they are seeing and are seduced by more progressive sports then the sponsorship money will go elsewhere.

    If the money goes elsewhere then events will wither on the vine. End of.
  • I kind of like the fact that no house hold name brands are all over the riders shirts. I would hate to wear a McDonalds or Pepsi jersey..
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by guv001</i>

    I kind of like the fact that no house hold name brands are all over the riders shirts. I would hate to wear a McDonalds or Pepsi jersey..
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    If you lived in France, Credit Agricole, Cofidis, Bouygues Telecom and Francaise des Jeux <i>are</i> household names. It's these companies that allow pro cycling to exist.
  • I used to get sooo over excited on going on holiday to Europe and seeing branches of Credit Agricole or a Rabobank.

    I remember seeing a cement tower (or whatever those things which hold cement are called) in St Moritz with Fassa Bortolo written on it, and exclaiming loudly 'Mum...LOOOOOOOK'. Whole coach must have thought I was well 'special' [:D]

    In fact I got in a bit of cold sweat when I saw a shop in town was selling Quick Step and Mapei products [8D]

    I've grown up now, and only get excited at seeing a bottle of Gerolsteiner (still have to buy it mind you [;)] )

    Oh and remember that Credit Agricole came into the sport to replace GAN (which itself replaced Z) as sponsor of Roger Legeay's team. So I'm confident that he'll find another, and remember that sponsors do come and go, it's the very nature of any sport.
  • Fair one afx but its the major corps I wouldnt want, although the money they would bring I'm sure would be welcomed by all.
  • SlimtimSlimtim Posts: 1,042
    Afx, I was really responding to Alderley's view that pro cycling as a whole would never be short of sponsors. Local companies (although two on your list have gone of course) will be happy to sponsor local events - if the price is right.

    Sponsorship is never (well, pretty much never) a decision made on a whim - a sponosrship prgramme is always part of a marketing plan and brands normally expect to spend three times as much exploiting their involvement as they do in buying the initial rights.

    There are many other ways that the sponsorship and expoitation budget could be spend (TV ads, radio ads, PR, direct mail, etc etc) if it didn't back a team or an event.

    The one immutable rule is that the brands will look at the reach of communication that they can achieve amongst their key target audience via sponsoring cycling, the level of awareness that they can achieve and the quality of that awareness.

    If the TV audience drops and the public associate cycling with drugs and cheating then the sponosrs will drop the sport like a hot potato (see recent press coverage for details - although note that the PR spin docs will have been at work to ensure that any break-up is presented in a positive light), and the money will be spent elsewhere.

    Cycling is not a prime sponsorship property but in these times of international brands trying to reach sport mad consumers it should be. In my opinion, this is because of the politics among the 'old f&rts' who run the sport, the boring format of the Grand Tours and the cynicism generated by the drugs issue.
  • It's going to be weird without Credit Agricole in the peloton.

    tea is good
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I had a Pepsi Fanini top. McDonalds used to co sponsor McDonalds ?

    Don't see the big deal really.
  • Ashley_RAshley_R Posts: 408
    I pride myself in mever being swayed by advertising though I will admit to choosing Quickstep laminate flooring due to the fact that they sponsor a cycling team!!


    You can lead an elephant to water but a pencil must be lead
    You can lead an elephant to water but a pencil must be lead
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Slimtim</i>
    The big hitters will always look for mass market sports - cycling isn't one <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Rubbish !

    Cycling is a mass-market big-time sport in Continental Countries, the big professional teams are Continental, their major sponsors are big companies on the Continent - even if <i>you </i>haven't heard of them.

    Cr‚dit Agricole is a major French bank, as is Caisse d'Eparnes, Bouygues Telecom are a major mobile phone network, Francaise des Jeux is the French national lottery, etc, etc.



    why is it sunny all week yet rains at weekends ?
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    T-Mobile anybody?

    Toyota United?

    Also, McDonalds sponsors Wigo-Haut, an Austrian team, through the local franchise..
  • SlimtimSlimtim Posts: 1,042
    I don't disagree that there are a few locally significant brands (CA has just announced its wtihdrawal so they won't be on the list for long), my contention is that the sport doesn't have the involvement of any 'power brands' (T Mobile accepted as being a good counter argument) who have adopted the sport in an international way.

    Sponsorship is a simple commercial decision (I work in this area) and cycling has got a big credibility problem which is perceived to reduce its value.

    A couple of years ago (before the current drugs issues), I pitched a cycling-related opportunity to a number of international brand owners based in the UK. Without exception, while they could see the relevance of pro cycling's audience to their brands, they rejected the proposal based on worries about being associated with a dirty sport.

    I hope that I am proven wrong - my advice to cycling is to review the pro cycling operation from a viewer's perspective (my view is that the pro circus has forgotten about it's audience) and work out how it can increase viewer numbers - especially on TV as this is the medium that most advertisers will be interested in.

    If this means changing the format or timing of races then that would be great. If cricket (OK - a bit of a local example but it makes the point) can acknowledge that it has an issue and partially reinvent its format to lure more spectators using 20X20 then so can cycling.

    How about including a couple of evening crits in key locations during the major tours raced by three representatives from each team - the rest could have a break? This could be broadcast for a couple of hours in the evenings and could make great viewing for sport mad guys who have nothing else on at that time of year.

    If ASO are reading this, just drop me a PM and I'll sort you out!
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