corky wrote:But no other clothing company does as much for your hobby/sport whatever.
False, absolute rubbish.
Let's start off with a few names (but we can go on for quite a while).
Pearl Izumi (from Shimano)
... yes, even small-time manufacturer Voler.
What do they do on your list?
They sponsor plenty of racing teams - more than just one, in fact.
They sponsor and arrange races, and they also collaborate with other brands to produce bigger events (just like Rapha does).
Publishing a magazine... that really matters?
Rapha has a blog. So do other companies. Huh.
Pearl Izumi has a lifetime warranty on all their products, they'll even exchange an older product where the stitching has gone awry for the current model-year equivalent. But they don't boast about it.
Rapha's non-team jerseys don't have logos plastered all over them? That is innovative how? Rapha's team kit
has just as many logos as any other pro-level team. Nothing shocking, son.
Other companies organize rides - in fact, they organize and sponsor more than just cycling rides. They sponsor running, triathlons and even down to 5k-walk-a-thons that will support medical research and organizations beyond cycling. Rapha may do that too, occasionally, but certainly less so by sheer reach.
The difference? Other companies don't organize rides with the pure intention of people riding/marching around in their clothes. When they do organize rides, the proceeds always go towards non-profit or humanitarian purposes
Other companies sponsor films and documentaries far more than you realize, they just don't put themselves across the titles - check the credits.
Other companies organize film screenings and tour coverage.
So... it's just basic marketing, nothing any greater
in merit than other company's contributions to this sport, to the cycling community, nor to the world at large.