Aug 14, 2001 3:50 AM
|Reading all of the responses to the Lance-Vuelta discussion (thanks btw) has gotten me thinking of this: Is the USPS team obligated to increase American interest in the sport of cycling?
I know this is a touchy subject and true roadies really neither give a damn, nor want to see the same people who'd get drunk at a baseball or hockey game at USPROs or BMG Crits. We love the sport and don't care if most Americans are indifferent. I'm sure we can all agree that the ridiculous five-second, joke-filled ESPN Tour stage recap did no justice to the sport. And while SI gave Lance and USPS their due, ESPN the Mag gave him a few lines in it's top 10, but I digress ...
My point is this: to capitalize on their success and Lance's awesome accomplishments, should USPS build a three-pronged team compiled to compete/dominate in the spring classics for Hincapie; join the competitive domestic racing scene dominated by Saturn, Mercury and Navigators, setting up it's short stage/crit specialists; and finally the big road team to support Lance in the TdF and then Heras in the Vuelta? Since USPS has no real leader-in-training once Lance rides off to rear the big family in Texas in a few years, shouldn't USPS try to increase it's visibility and competitiveness while it's on top? Otherwise when Lance retires, might USPS fold?
I enjoyed this years TdF, but I still feel that if Mercury wasn't robbed and allowed to compete, it would have done wonders for the sport here in America. Only when we can have at least two teams competing yearly in the TdF and other big tours will we not be seen as a one-trick pony (USPS and Lance) in the eyes of cycling Europe. Thanks. What's your opinion?
|Deliver the mail on time||Agent86|
Aug 14, 2001 11:11 AM
|That's the only obligation they have.|
|re: Postal obligations?||roadcyclist|
Aug 14, 2001 4:07 PM
|The only obligation the team has to it's sponsors is to increase the awareness of the brand name (of course, all the free publicicty that comes with winning goes a long way to accomplish that). Let's not forget, this is a business. Don't be too surprised (or disappointed) if USPS abandons cycling when Lance retires (maybe sooner, if their goals are met). 7-11 and Motorola both withdrew from the sport when they achieved their advertising goals through the sport. I agree that if we had 2 US teams competing against each other in international events it would go a long way to advance the sport. I don't believe that our sport will ever be big in this country because we are an "automobile" nation (how many of you ride to the start of your club ride, or do you drive? how many of you run an errand on your bike? or commute? see what I mean?).|
Aug 14, 2001 6:17 PM
|Frankly I always thought it odd that USPS was sponsoring... I realize parcel delivery is a bit more competitive than delivering "mail" (thus it requires advertising), but it is ironic. Maybe we should have the IRS team... or the FBI team....?|
|Odd sponsor||Lance's Neighbor|
Aug 14, 2001 8:20 PM
|I bet a CIA team could come up with some nifty bikes...|
Aug 14, 2001 10:12 PM
|the postal service has to compete for it's business as does any other. The main reason for sponsoring the cycling team is to increase their overseas brand and market share. Overnight, priority, parcel and yes even letter mair vs email etc. If they sit back they will soon go the way of buggy whip makers.|| |