HTC–Highroad

5 Aug

It’s a sad day for the sport of professional bicycle racing when the most successful team, HTC-Highroad, can’t find a sponsor and is forced to fold.

Something that isn’t even feasible in any of the prominent sports in the U.S., football, baseball, basketball, or hockey.

Jonathon Vaughters, director of Garmin-Cervelo, has spoken about the problems with the sport of cycling and feels revenue sharing – or lack of – is a key part of the problem.

 

From Bonnie Ford, ESPN.COM:

Garmin-Cervelo director Jonathan Vaughters said the demise of HTC-Highroad is symptomatic of the deep structural dysfunction in the sport.

"To me, it’s just ludicrous that the team currently ranked No. 1 in the world is forced to disband because of a shortfall in corporate sponsorship," said Vaughters, who is also president of the professional teams’ association known by the French acronym AIGCP. "Every successful professional sport has revenue sharing from merchandising and TV rights, and long-term guarantees."

Vaughters said it distressed him to see what he termed Garmin’s "sister team" fold because Stapleton was intent on helping to change the way cycling is run.

Read the rest of the article here.

From this fan’s perspective it seems long overdue for cycling to adopt the practices of revenue sharing and guarantees that other professional sports teams follow. Otherwise our sport will continue to suffer. Can you imagine what “Joe 12-pack” would do if his favorite football team, say the Dallas Cowboys, had to fold because of lack of sponsorship. Wouldn’t be pretty would it…

Angry smile 

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