Friday, August 5, 2011

Bye Bye Team Highroad...



One of the interesting aspects of professional cycling is the often-short life span of the branded team. Their funerals are a regular occurrence, as the teams are composed of temporary sponsors and temporary owners. Though many individuals make a career out of team management, their advertised brands change with the prevailing winds of yearly advertising goals, and wealthy industrialists who adopt cycling as a hobby for four to ten years. There are of course the Moltenis, the Mapeis and the Rabobanks, but make no mistake; they are not cut from the same cloth as the Yankees or Manchester United. Of course, if George Steinbrenner had to rely only on income from renting advertising space on the Yankee pinstripes, there would be no Yankees as we know it today. George needed Yankee stadium (and the TV rights that go with it) to craft a franchise that stuck it out through two World Wars and one Great Depression. The pro cycling team in its genesis is a modular affair with many movable parts, but with essentially no property except for the odd team bus and a few jerseys captured along the way. Their demise is oft celebrated with a yard-like sale of used bikes, water bottles, and well-used espresso machines, in the parking lot of their “home base” known as the team service course. And unless the peloton stages a major coup of profit sharing and management, history will know ASO, RCS Sport, and Uni Public and the races they organize......Read on

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