|Here is another side of the USPS sponsorship (long article)||onespeed|
Jul 30, 2002 7:41 AM
|Many at U.S. Post Office
Reject Spin on Cycling,
Despite Armstrong's Win
How About Us? Ask Anthrax Victims,
Questioning $25 Million Sponsorship
By Maureen Tkacik
The Asian Wall Street Journal
(Copyright (c) 2002, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)
Lance Armstrong, the 30-year-old Texan who Sunday won his fourth straight Tour de France, overcame cancer through a regimen of chemotherapy, Power Bars and grueling, 10-hour bicycle treks through sleet and snow.
Patrick O'Donnell, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania mail sorter, overcame anthrax poisoning through a combination of Cipro, Prozac and "lots of golf."
Both men get compensation for their efforts from the U.S. Postal Service. But Mr. O'Donnell -- whose neck ballooned to 76 centimeters from 43 in October after he rubbed up against a tainted sorting machine at a New Jersey postal plant -- says Mr. Armstrong should forgo his Postal Service paycheck to make his bigger.
It is nothing personal.
"It's just absurd that Lance gets $25 million from the same organization from which I have trouble getting a hundred bucks for drugs," says Mr. O'Donnell, a 15-year veteran of the Postal Service. Nine months after being infected with anthrax, he still isn't able to return to his job.
Postal Service critics, including those at the Washington think tank Citizens Against Government Waste, have for years argued that the service's sponsorship of the cycling team is an unnecessary marketing expense for a government-subsidized operation. More recently, among postal employees, "the cycling team has become quite a controversy" as well, says Leroy Richmond, a mail sorter who contracted the inhalation form of anthrax at a Washington sorting facility and spent 27 days in the hospital.
In the past year, the Postal Service has posted losses of $1.67 billion, shut hundreds of facilities for budgetary reasons and suffered the deaths of four employees from anthrax. This month, it raised the price of first-class stamps by three cents, hoping to restore itself to financial health.
By sports-marketing standards, the Postal Service's decision in 1996 to put its brand on a start-up U.S. cycling team appears remarkably prescient -- and cost-effective. At the time, the four-year sponsorship cost $4 million. That same year, Mr. Armstrong, riding for the Belgian team Confidis, discovered he had an advanced case of testicular cancer, and he was dropped from the Confidis roster. When he recovered, the fledgling Postal Service team took him on. By the time the Postal Service's contract with the team came up for renewal in 2000, Mr. Armstrong had won two Tour de France titles in his Postal Service jersey.
But the new, more-costly cycling deal has been criticized by conservative politicians for being ineffective at selling stamps. (Post office guidelines bar the agency from putting Mr. Armstrong on a stamp; only the deceased get the honor.)
This year, the service has begun increasingly to talk of its cycling team in morale-boosting terms. Defending the deal on ABC's "20/20" television program, Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan said it was an "uplifting thing" that is "psychic for our employees."
"Lance is about perseverance, and so is the Postal Service," adds spokeswoman Monica Hand. "There's an analogy between how a bike team achieves victory and how the Postal Service is able to meet its challenges. You see them [the bicyclists] in the mountains: One person's success builds on another person's success. One person collects the mail, another processes and distributes it."
She defends the cost of the sponsorship, pointing to an America Online poll in which 73% of respondents said they felt the post office's sponsorship of Mr. Armstrong's team is "a great thing to do." "Even Coca-Cola, the biggest brand in the world, has to advertise its business," she adds.
"Lance is about perseverance, and so is the Postal S
|Buncha whining candy-asses who need scapegoats...||eschelon|
Jul 30, 2002 8:45 AM
|hey, I'm not pleased that my stamps have gotten a little more expensive...but shit, prices for everything goes up all the time. 3 frickin pennies for every letter you send...jesus, nobody gives a shit about 3 pennies if they dropped it on the ground.
If the USPS lost over 1.5 billion, and the postal service spends about (I think) less than 10 million a year including TV ads, these whining candy-asses seem to think that the 1.5 billion loss would be gone if the USPS stopped sponsoring the team.
I swear...nothin but a bunch of basketball, baseball, football, NASCAR loving candy-asses!
|Buncha whining candy-asses who need scapegoats...||CARBON110|
Jul 30, 2002 9:28 AM
|AMEN BROTHER! Somone had to say it!
Long live the king ( Lance ) and his merry men! (US Postal Service)!
|Hey I have an Idea||PhatMatt|
Jul 30, 2002 9:31 AM
|Maybe they should sponser a NASCAR, I think the cars them self run between 250 and 500K each. And you need multiple cars, plus driver contracts and everything else. Than those candy ass would realize that the cycling team is really quite cheap. Plus the cycling team is a hell of a lot cooler that cars going around and around for 5 hrs.
|slap some mailbags on the USPS team & let 'em deliver the mail.||AllisonHayes|
Jul 30, 2002 9:48 AM
|(Through sleet or rain, mud, snow and dark of night, the USPS team delivers.)|
|too busy running the generators in the basement nm||DougSloan|
Jul 30, 2002 9:50 AM
|Now there's an idea for a TV commercial...||DrPete|
Jul 30, 2002 12:41 PM
|Imagine the US Postal TTT train bombing down the street throwing feedbags full of letters all over the place... It's got potential, at least in my little world. :)|
|just think about it...||lnin0|
Jul 30, 2002 11:10 AM
|What crap. The USPS is a business just like everyone else yet for some reason people think it runs by tax money.
I don't hear all the redneck complaining the Dale JR. should not be sponsered by bud when the price of beer goes up .03...
|Or when the price of gas goes up||PhatMatt|
Jul 30, 2002 11:43 AM
|Which seems to go up by .10-.20 cents a time. and If I remember correctly the oil companies are making money hand over fist.|
|Lance makes $25 million?!||DrPete|
Jul 30, 2002 12:38 PM
|I don't think that number is totally accurate... OLN quoted $15 million, and the VAST majority of that, I'm sure, comes from endorsements from Trek, Nike, and Oakley.
In Cincinnati, where I grew up, the Bengals (a BAD football team) whined to the city and county long enough and threatened to leave town, so they spent over half a BILLION on a new stadium, raising the sales tax to pay for it.
I think it's great what USPS has done for Lance and for American Cycling. I'll pay 50 cents a stamp for them to keep it up.
|the team is $25M nm||DougSloan|
Jul 30, 2002 1:17 PM
|Drop the golf clubs and get a bike and start training for tdf 03||DeRosaOrBust|
Jul 30, 2002 4:54 PM
|How many people grow up saying 'I want to deliver the mail"??||spyderman|
Jul 30, 2002 11:56 PM
|Besides Cliff on Cheers...not many. How sad.
They don't realize that they are competing with Airborne, UPS, and Fed-Ex. I personally use the Priority Mail because of their sponsorship.
They should take their butts out of those ugly white trucks and put them all on Treks! Besides shaving a few pounds off their backsides, it might also shave a few pennies off the price of a stamp? Think about how much fuel they waste with stop-and-go driving???
Perhaps a little healthy exercise might also help prevent them from 'Going Postal'??
|re: Here is another side of the USPS sponsorship (long article)||EricBH|
Jul 31, 2002 5:15 AM
|I think it's great they (USPS) sponsors Lance and the team. |
However, if they don't want to continue, just imagine how many other US company's would be waiting in line to pick them up. I think NIKE, Coke, Oakly would grab them in a heartbeat.
It would be a shame to have Lance on a European team though.