Saturday, 20 November 2010

This Blog isn't dead.

I haven't written in a long while, due to having little time in season and not having any news out of season.

The news now is that things are looking a bit grim in Portuguese professional cycling. There seems to be very little support from sponsors and I understand why:

You've got 500 000€ to invest in marketing. You think a short tv add a few times a day for a period of time, you think banners on some web page; it may not work well, but at worse you squandered the money. So you're at zero. Sponsoring a cycling team will give you a guaranteed return in terms of publicity, but carries with it and image risk. So although your return is certain, your name could be associated with chemical cheating. The more cynical business man might not turn his nose at a good scandal. "Festina" got unprecedented exposure through such.

Ironically Liberty Seguros were to invest again in a cycling team (with clean credentials). But at the same time my current team Tavira, who won everything of importance in Portugal and some things abroad is in a huge struggle to find a sponsor! Where does sport come in to this? It's not the first time it occurred to me that there (often) is very little "sport" in sport...

It's recession and shit ok. But the world keeps on turning. Why are we at the mercy of the banks and governments. Why is there a chronic lack of liquidity? People still work and most want to work. Why not press and economic "reset" button where a Kj of your effort is worth 1gm of flour. Instead of this bullshit of people making money out of thin air. And financing these massive, essentially pointless bureaucracies with our sweat also costs dear...

Does cycling have real value? Yes, but the whole structure needs a review. It's ridiculous than a team should buy it's way into the top division. It becomes a game of "who is the best salesman" to attract sponsors and buy in the riders with the points. If my little sponsor gambles on a good project that can do battle with the big boys, why shouldn't that squad be allowed to compete with the big boys? For lack of money apparently.

I am confident things will work out however. And I think IG Markets, if they are to invest in Portuguese cycling, should come to Tavira. And sponsor a team that could host some British prospects from day one. We already have an incredible core of cyclists who have been years in development.

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