Non-cycling friends: 'pro soccer is harder than pro cycling'

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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Kasparz
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by Kasparz

No, I'm grumpy

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mattr
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by mattr

Kasparz wrote:No, I'm grumpy
I would be too if i had to train 7 days a week.

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elviento
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by elviento

Comparison among differential sports aside, what worries me more is the fact that sponsors are fleeing the sport, with bike manufacturers having to back up teams, like cannon dale, bmc, merida, trek, maybe giant next. Meantime chinarellos will keep chipping away their market. You guys will ultimately pay for this. Imagine cycling becoming a thing among a bunch of bike nerds ONLY. I know ppl would like to think manufacturer s are filthy rich. Fact is, they are not.
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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

Exp001 || Other projects in the works.

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micky
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by micky

Ex pro Silvio Martinello said a nice sentence about this subject during the last Giro, "...soccer is a game, cycling is a sport".

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Powerful Pete
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by Powerful Pete

@prend, but doesn't that have more to do with the awful weather we've been having? If you think of it, an average price of $800-odd for a bike is actually impressive...
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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

I think it's partly weather, but also the industry itself. Keep in mind the weather has not been terrible everywhere.
There isn't much money in the industry, as ElViento pointed out, but there seems to be a growing split in pricing and availability. On one hand it seems that prices for equipment is just going higher. Not too long ago a top-tier bike would have been in the $5,000-$6,000USD range. Now it's common place to hear of pricing in the $8,000-$9,000USD range (MSRP of course). Medium or low-range bikes of decent quality have also gone up in price.
Sure there are counter arguments such as:
-the margins aren't very high, major manufacturers are simply trying to minimize their losses
-price of raw materials is high
-labor costs have gone up
-(related to labor costs), costs for marketing, distribution, engineering, etc:.

...but then we look at an industry which has done comparatively little in the way of ensuring that they can continue into the future. Sure there are some efforts of giving to larger advocacy organizations such as "BikesBelong" and others (using the United States as an example), but even the people in Wahington DC will tell you that national efforts are ineffective and the advocacy starts on a local level. Local orgs need support... but there is little of that from the industry applied to the local level. So then what happens? With a growing population, a competing car industry preaching "safety" and "affordability" you are not having enough progress in terms of better road/trail/infrastructure conditions that would support new riders. With less and less new riders out there each year, you'll get two things: a population of people who can afford the high-prices and consider cycling 'the new golf' often tending to carry the same elitism with it, or a population of people who will stick with what they have and save money. In between, we're losing the accessibility of cycling...

Which brings it back to soccer: the most accessible sport in the world. The top companies in that sport give a lot of funding and efforts to encourage growth for the future... they fund orgs which increase accessibility, access to those who want to participate, rights for equality in sport, etc, etc, etc. The pay-offs in the short term are small: it's not like Adidas, Nike or Puma will get a lot of press for sending balls, nets and shoes to small populations or helping to fund a summer camp for at-risk kids or supporting women's leagues, but the long term pay offs are massive for the entire industry. They get some press, but comparatively little versus the amount of effort they put in.

I'm simply not seeing that long-range foresight from the bike industry, to be honest. Sure there are years that are positive, but overall if there are no serious, sustained efforts to invest in the future beyond a company's own particular sales, then the industry as a whole will suffer. Cannondale, Trek, Specialized, and so on, throwing their logo as 'sponsorship' to a local team or event under the guise of "we're supporting a non-profit org" isn't doing sht for the future to be honest, especially when those races and events take place in the middle of nowhere, some weekend at an empty business/industrial park, with little exposure to people beyond the racer's immediate family and friends.

Heck, even the USAC - the very national sanctioning org in the US that absolutely thrives on all of their licensed athletes reaping the benefits of access to roads and trails gives absolutely NOTHING to any advocacy organisation on any level. What the hell is that?! Just another example of an industry which is not making much, if any, efforts to invest in the future. There are a few minor examples... Tern, for example, makes a concerted effort. I think they actually 'get' it. Saris, too, makes a huge effort on the local level.

Anyway, that's how I see it and am tying it all together.
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Powerful Pete
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by Powerful Pete

Fair enough. I suspect that the reality has not really set into the cycling industry/racing set. Bike racing in its heyday was the most popular sport, also because everyone cycled. The sponsorship came from the cycling teams, no different than Mercedes or someone else sponsoring a F1 team. That simply isn't the case anymore. More and more parents consider any form of cycling a dangerous activity for their kids and do not allow it beyond the garage/driveway.

How to create a new class of riders/consumers/TV watchers that are then a draw for sponsors?

Can the fitness-minded hold the market? In the US I seem to encounter quite a few "transplants" - older guys who started in other sports and (usually as runners) were injured and took up riding. These are the guys with the interest in toys and the money to burn who are willing to drop $2,500 on a wheelset.

But what about the next generations?
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micky
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by micky

Cycling is an endurance sport, compared to a game like soccer where you can kick a ball against a wall and no need to run at all.

Instead of pointing at pro cycling, I would look at promoting cycling as a way to move around in a healthy way, and then a % of it will of course get into pro cycling by itself.

russianbear
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by russianbear

micky wrote:Ex pro Silvio Martinello said a nice sentence about this subject during the last Giro, "...soccer is a game, cycling is a sport".


Every 'non game' sport says this about itself.

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Liggero
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by Liggero

I don't think soccer is an easy sport. I think female cycling is an easy sport. A very easy one I would say, as there is little competition. It is hard in the sense that is not very well paid, just like, let's say karate.

There is a lot of money involved in football, and there is a lot of guys wanting to be professional. it's a sport affordable to anybody, unlike golf or formula 1. Formula 1 it's a very easy sport I think. the level in soccer i think it's very high. Of course, the phisical requirements are so much lower, there are lots of professional soccer players who do smoke in private.
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russianbear
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by russianbear

I wouldn't say F1 is easy, but to enter the F1 grid and be successful you need driving talent, money, some connections probably and some more money. Many on the grid are paying to be there, Chilton for instance LOL. There are no rags to riches stories in F1 typically.

There's nothing easy about doing this for 70 laps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD4uV33zok8

"What is tougher?" is a pretty vague question. Some sports require a specialized skill (like dribbling a ball or driving a car quickly) while having a base of fitness to be able to run for 90 minutes while dribbling with said ball around others or endure high G forces, maintain concentration while going around a chicane at 150+ mph. Cycling has some specific skills, like descending quickly for instance, but it is a small part because the base of fitness is the most important thing. We're all biased here for cycling of course, but we shouldn't diminish other athletes skills and abilities.

Except baseball, that's just rubbish ;)

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Horze
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by Horze

History is replete with turning points. Fads come and go. As one trend increases you'll find another decreasing.
Same principle applies to sponsorship and advertising. Bike manufacturers take up sponsorship because they've found it in their best interests do so, and because they can. The bicycle market has seen an upward trend in equipment fashion in the past ten or so years. The long overreaching arm of Internet communications has seen to it that a strong marketing appeal is delivered, and in fact promoted, to the desires of their audiences' inner-self.

But, in the larger scope of things -- What I see is a sport getting tighter, perhaps smaller and indeed somewhat more niche.
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micky
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by micky

russianbear wrote:
micky wrote:Ex pro Silvio Martinello said a nice sentence about this subject during the last Giro, "...soccer is a game, cycling is a sport".


Every 'non game' sport says this about itself.


Correct but the title of this topic is "pro soccer harder than cycling" and this is a forum about cycling, not F1 or basketball. :wink:

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Horze
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by Horze

Thanks Management for censoring more of my posts. Business as usual I guess.

DON'T CENSOR CONTENT BASED ON WHAT YOU THINK IS APPROPRIATE WITHOUT READING SUBMISSIONS CAREFULLY.

How incredibly low-ball!
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by Weenie


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