cavendish & the phone thing

neeb
neeb Posts: 4,470
edited July 2009 in The bottom bracket
Very professional of Cavendish to manage to win the stage yesterday (stage 3) while miming for his sponsors at the same time. How far should riders be expected and/or allowed to go to keep their sponsors happy though? Can we expect them in the future to be singing and miming advertising jingles while on the bike or in interviews afterwards? Is there a line that should be drawn anywhere? I should say that I'm a little ambivalent on this myself, obviously the greater value the sponsors get out of the riders the more they will put into the sport, but you can see how it could go too far.
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Comments

  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I think it just shows how professional he is. Just be thankful the team isn't sponsored by Durex :shock: :?
  • NWLondoner wrote:
    I think it just shows how professional he is.

    You're probably right but for some reason it really irritates me! And he always has to bring them up in interviews as well... But I guess it's his job to...
    NWLondoner wrote:
    Just be thankful the team isn't sponsored by Durex :shock: :?
    :lol::lol:
  • drumon
    drumon Posts: 175
    He's clearly not daft. He knows his sponsors pay to be seen, if he's winning they get seen more. It costs him nothing to do something extra like that to boost the sponsors profile. Business is business and cycling is a professional sport, ie. a business!

    It is his job in so far as he is wearing the jersey, doing a little extra when he wins must please the sponsor and will probably bring more benefit to him from the sponsor, ie. money and favour. Thats business too, good business.

    He's a smart guy.

    If I had a sponsor in my line of work I'd do what I could to encourage that extra favour from sponsor(s).
  • As he said in the ITV coverage "i'm a professional bike rider, this isn't a hobby. It's my job to get my sponsors names on TV".
    http://www.KOWONO.com - Design-Led home furniture and accessories.
  • freehub
    freehub Posts: 4,257
    So does he not enjoy cycling? In his spare time he never cycles?
  • You're all talking about it-it's worked!
  • You're all talking about it-it's worked!

    True, but I have no idea what company it is! :lol:
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    Sponsors pay the wages (and prob.give him a free phone etc) so it's his job to talk them up. It was an excellent piece of promotion - the team are a business just as football teams etc are. No sponsors, no wages
    M.Rushton
  • voxegam
    voxegam Posts: 244
    Just a shame it seemed like he covered up half of the htc logo with his hand.
    Trek Madone 6.5 Pro
    Planet-X (now winter-bike)
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    voxegam wrote:
    Just a shame it seemed like he covered up half of the htc logo with his hand.

    Are those wheels tubs or clinchers on your PX?
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    freehub wrote:
    So does he not enjoy cycling? In his spare time he never cycles?

    think about what you are saying, Will......
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    voxegam wrote:
    Just a shame it seemed like he covered up half of the htc logo with his hand.

    exactly - unfortunately, the promo pic they wanted of Cav crossing the line with his right hand stuck in his ear will be sod-all use, because his left hand is covering the logo.....
  • Philip S
    Philip S Posts: 398
    softlad wrote:
    voxegam wrote:
    Just a shame it seemed like he covered up half of the htc logo with his hand.

    exactly - unfortunately, the promo pic they wanted of Cav crossing the line with his right hand stuck in his ear will be sod-all use, because his left hand is covering the logo.....
    Yeah - unlucky timing with the photo that seems to be doing the rounds in the papers. However, HTC was nice and clear on the TV slow mos of the finish.

    Seems like a decent return for the sponsors already. I had no idea who HTC were until a couple of days ago; now I know they make phones and Bob Stapleton is claiming that they are making an iPhone-killing phone. I've absolutely no plans to buy one, but their brand awareness has certainly gone up in the last few days.
  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    who cares?
  • pb21
    pb21 Posts: 2,171
    Infamous wrote:
    who cares?

    Everyone posting in this thread.
    Mañana
  • Stewie Griffin
    Stewie Griffin Posts: 4,330
    voxegam wrote:
    Just a shame it seemed like he covered up half of the htc logo with his hand.

    Opportunity taken :lol:
    http://www.htc.com/uk/

    Several mates have HTC phones and swear by them, Sony Experia (X1) is made by HTC. Too complicated for me, make phone calls, text messages, listen to music and take the odd drunken photo, thats all mobiles should do. I dont want Excel or Word on my phone thanks :? .
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I have heard of the phones, but who's mark cavendish?
  • Stewie Griffin
    Stewie Griffin Posts: 4,330
    dmclite wrote:
    I have heard of the phones, but who's mark cavendish?

    One of the Banana Splits. Didnt you have TV when you were a kid?
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    I totally get the argument that pro cycling is a business and that Cavendish is a professional serving his sponsors etc.

    And before I start - I'm not necessarily saying that this particular event is a step too far, it probably isn't. Pros were doing all sorts of weird things with Perrier bottles 50 years ago and let's not forget that the TdF was originally invented as an advertising stunt for a newspaper!

    But... is pro cycling /only/ a business? Of course not - If it was, then there would be no limits to how it could be changed in order to make it more commercially successful. Pros could be hired for their looks as much as for their cycling ability and the sponsors could decide who won. It would no longer have anything to do with pitting the best cyclists in the world against each other based on their ability. The current rules stop that happening, just as regulation of businesses in the public sector rightly controls their behavior. The real value of the TdF and other races has nothing to do with business, it simply needs business to fund it and publicise it, and fortunately the sponsors can benefit from funding it in ways that don't significantly change its nature as a sporting competition between cyclists (as opposed to entertainers or salesmen).

    So, given that there must be some point that would represent a step too far (where the commercial interests of the sponsors would interfere too much with the nature of the event), what would that point be? Some people (not me necessarily) might think that requiring a stage winner to mime for his sponsors instead of spontaneously celebrating in whatever way he felt like was interfering too much with an intrinsic aspect of the sporting achievement. If this is OK, how about if people started losing races because of complex sponsorship obligations? Or what if public aspects of riders' lives outside of the sport started to have a big influence on whether they were able to get onto teams? This is already happening to some extent in cases such as Boonen's - he broke no rules and did absolutely nothing that could be regarded as cheating, and yet many people have argued that his team were perfectly within their rights to suspend him simply because his private life was bad for the image of the sponsors and his job as a pro cyclist is ultimately to serve their interests.
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    neeb wrote:
    So, given that there must be some point that would represent a step too far (where the commercial interests of the sponsors would interfere too much with the nature of the event), what would that point be?

    ever seen the Castorama team kit of the early 90s..?? that was a step too far.. ;)
  • Biscuiteer
    Biscuiteer Posts: 143
    Pity the Agritubel rider who has to work out how to mime a piece of cattle feeding equipment as he crosses the line first :shock:
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    neeb wrote:
    But... is pro cycling /only/ a business?

    Your being very naive, aren't you?
    All pro sports are first and foremost a business. Being a business that makes enough money to allow the participants to make a full time career out of participating is the whole point of pro sports, after all.
    To do that you need an income, and that means fans. You can get the money direct from the fans (through tickets) or indirectly from sponsors who want the fans to see their logo.
    If you try and rise above the business angle, you don't have enough money to allow your guys to do the sport full time, so you struggle to win much, lose fans, and spiral into a slow death. You need enough money to do it right, no matter what the sport is.

    Cycle racing, by it's nature, can't get money directly from fans, they stand on the roadside free of charge. That makes it even more dependent on it's sponsors than most pro sports. Without the sponsors money there is really no other income. The Tour is like the vast majority of races, originally organised to sell newspapers, and like most of them, run that way until relatively recently. Team tactics are effected by it. A team that's done nothing for 2 weeks in the Tour will send riders in every breakaway going in the last week, not because this makes sense from a sporting point of view, but because the marketing people of the companies paying the bills want to at least know the team did actually go to France with their money and aren't sunning themselves on a beach somewhere instead.
    You say the sponsors could decide who wins. Would it shock you to discover thats exactly what happens in a good number of crit races on the continent, a practise thats decades old and not exactly a secret?

    Sport as a romantic battle of ability is a lovely vision, but the real world of professional sport, any professional sport, is a business first and foremost. Thats not to say it's dispassionate, far from it. The competitors ego's more then ensure that, but to pretend that a sport, especially one like cycling so utterly dependent on sponsors is losing some grace it never actually had (since teams being utterly dependent on sponsors was even more true in the past) is naive. Cycling being a business isn't a bad thing.
  • dilemna
    dilemna Posts: 2,187
    NWLondoner wrote:
    I think it just shows how professional he is. Just be thankful the team isn't sponsored by Durex :shock: :?

    Or Kleenex tissues :lol:
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • Rockbuddy
    Rockbuddy Posts: 243
    I have a HTC phone, does that mean I'm now cool through association ? 8) :lol::lol:
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    Sport as a romantic battle of ability is a lovely vision, but the real world of professional sport, any professional sport, is a business first and foremost. Thats not to say it's dispassionate, far from it. The competitors ego's more then ensure that, but to pretend that a sport, especially one like cycling so utterly dependent on sponsors is losing some grace it never actually had (since teams being utterly dependent on sponsors was even more true in the past) is naive. Cycling being a business isn't a bad thing.
    I don't think it's naive to highlight any new developments that could potentially be damaging to the sporting aspects of pro cycling and (if necessary) to express opinions or apply pressure. I fully accept that a professional sport has to be a business, but ultimately its success is dependent on fans believing that they are watching a genuine contest of ability and buying into the romantic aspects of it. So the real value and historic associations of the genuine sporting contest is the major asset that allows the sponsors to make their money. Now, I guess full-on free-market thinking types would say that such a system is self-regulating - the sponsors won't do anything that could too seriously affect the value of the race as a sporting contest, as that would represent a devaluing of the assets that ultimately generate their profits. Personally I have less faith in the ability of businesses to act in ways that are ultimately in their own and everyone else's long term interests, especially where assets have values that are intangible and hard to quantify, and when individual businesses may be in it only for short term gains. I guess that's where the governing bodies come in; they are in it for the long term and are aware of the nature and history of the sport and so are in the best position to set the rules in such a way that maximises funding from sponsors without damaging the core values of the contest. And if enough people express opinions on particular issues, they will have to take that into account. Idealists are no longer naive when there are enough of them ! :wink:

    But just to make it clear, I fully support sponsorship of pro cycling. I even find myself choosing brands because of their involvement in cycling. I just think that it's ultimately the followers of the sport who have to pipe up when appropriate to help set the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable. Those involved in the commercial aspects of cycling must realise this, otherwise cycling would be like WWF wrestling!
  • nick hanson
    nick hanson Posts: 1,655
    softlad wrote:
    freehub wrote:
    So does he not enjoy cycling? In his spare time he never cycles?

    think about what you are saying, Will......
    +1
    so many cols,so little time!
  • nolf
    nolf Posts: 1,287
    Actually he was just giving tommeke a ring, wondering when they were going to have the sprint finish...
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • mattbass789
    mattbass789 Posts: 355
    i have an HTC phone, so does my dad. At the end of the day, it's likely that if the sponsors weren't kept happy they'd pull out, and cycling would be nothing without the sponsors. and sponsoring a cycling team is more philanthropic id say than sponsoring an f1 team or something.
    “If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”

    @mattbeedham
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    and sponsoring a cycling team is more philanthropic id say than sponsoring an f1 team or something.

    tell me about it - I sponsored my road club when I lived back in the south east. Cost a lot and got literally no business in return - but that was never the intention anyway. I would do it again tomorrow if I had the spare cash...

    Still, at least you get to choose the team kit.. ;)