trychle wrote:Is this the future of the sport alongside bicycle manufacturers taking over teams?
I might be pessimistic, but I do no longer see why any company from outside the cycling industry would want to sponsor a professional cycling team (due to doping-
The return on investment in terms of exposures is excellent if your team can get in the Tour de France, and still not bad if it does not.
Unless cycling as a whole crashes and burns, something it has held off doing despite dire predictions for at least 105 years, it remains a good investment. The question is whether the benefit of that exposure is undone by a doping story. I doubt it.
How many here would have ever even heard of Katusha had they not sponsored pro cycling?
Bike companies are taking a larger role because of the impressive growth of racing bike sales. Even if that abates, pro cycling remains a good marketing tool for whatever is hot at a given moment. They use pro cycling as a validation of their product, but the more common route of being a minority sponsor works fine for that. Not that bike companies sponsoring teams is new: Alcyon is an excellent example.