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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » Cheats never prosper? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Cheats never prosper?
ursus arctos
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So, our boy Ivan made a triumphant entry to the "Oscars di Ciclismo" in the Veneto last night.

And the Gazzetta is 90% convinced that he is going to be riding for Discovery Channel next year, which would make things easier for Toro.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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heh, it certainly would.

I'm a little surprised, to be honest, just how quick "Mr. 60%" Riis is being to wash his hands of Basso. I mean, it would have looked bad for the sponsors to race him at Lombardia, as well as arsing up the tactics planned arouns Schleck (no that they worked out...), but if he's going to be racing next year, you'd think they'd want him on board.

Maybe they can go all out for Sastre now.

Basso's lawyer has been blathering on with some contemptible shit about why they refused the DNA test.

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ursus arctos
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Riis threw Ivan under the bus before the Prologue in France and has been running away from him while vigorously washing his hands ever since.

I think it is in part a refusal to come to terms with his own tainted past and in part fear that his sponsors will pull a Phonak and leave him high and dry.

In any case, it has made Riis infinitely less popular here than he was at the end of the Giro.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Whatever his motives, I think it can only be a good thing. Makes him infinitely more popular in, er, my flat.

I suspect the mooted Basso-to-Discovery switch may hinge to some degree on this Vaughters/Andreu thing; there's been a notable willingness to talk about Armstrong and drugs in the last few months in the US media, and if the latest thing contributes to that - as it really should, in a sane world - then the sponsors may well decide that Basso is a brand of tarnish they can do without.

Though maybe not, as they're reportedly planning to pull out in a year's time anyway.

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ursus arctos
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I think the Italian rumours are largely based on the assumed fact that Discovery are the only non-Telekom team that could pay Basso what he is likely to be asking for.

But you are right that their plans are a bit up in the air. They have been seriously effected by the death of Steve Irwin (who generated a material proportion of their revenues), and it may well be that a bike team is not a strategic investment in a period of retrenching.

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Fausto Ptang
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Is that right about Steve Irwin. It had never crossed my mind, but now you've said it makes perfect sense. How strange that his death will influence Basso going to a new team.
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ursus arctos
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Absolute truth, particularly in the States. They have all of his existing programs (and have begun to show some again), but still are working on what they will do for new content.

Maybe Lance could do a show on chemistry. . .. . .

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ad hoc
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How do Discovery Channel make money? They seemingly have about 10 different channels, none of which has much adverstising on it, and for which they presumably can't charge that much for anyway. ("You'd like a 30 second slot on Discovery Civilizations at 10am. Certainly sir, that'll be 50p")

And, this brings me onto the second part of the question - what benefit do they get from sponsoring a cycling team anyway? Do people really watch Jose Azevedo struggling to keep pace with the leaders and think "I really must switch over and see if there's anything good on the Discovery Channel". Is brand recognition (I can only assume that's the purpose) really that important for a TV channel?

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ad hoc
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(Though I can see how there is more value to Discovery Channel in supporting the team than there was to US Postal Service - that one really baffled me. I'd like to send a letter. Let me see, what options do I have? USPS? That makes sense but of course I live in Europe, and they don't serve this continent. )
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ursus arctos
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They make some money from advertising (not much, as you state), most of their money from being paid by cable systems and satelite providers for the right to include their programming as part of the system's offering (in the US, for instance, one normally has the option of several levels of cable service, with one or two Discovery channels as part of the basic package, but one having to pay more for those that include Animal Planet (or whatever). Discovery gets a cut of that fee, either directly or indirectly. And finally, they make significant amounts of money off of "derivative" producets which can be everything from dvds of their shows to books, magazines, chemistry sets and plush toys. They have their own shops in some US malls. They also have a nice little sideline in producing teaching materials.

In Europe, it is all about building brand recognition, which it is thought will ultimately lead to more ad revenue and opportunities for derivative sales.

The USPS sponsorship baffled everyone. The official theory was that it helped them combat the continuing loss of the most lucrative part of their business (express mail from businesses) to the likes of UPS, DHL and FedEx, raised their profile among European executives with US operations and helped employee morale at home (which tends to be abysmal, not only because of the not infrequent episodes of people "going postal" and shooting their colleagues), but none of those ever made much sense to me.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Phonak were one company that massively increased brand awareness and penetration as a direct result of sponsoring a cycling team; something like 80% of Swiss and German people know who they are and what they do.

In fact, the reason they withdrew their sponsorship was effectively that it had been too successful; it had reached the effective saturation point of the publicity it could gain from sponsoring a cycling team.

Rarely, it must be said, for the right reasons.

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ursus arctos
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But how many of those are hard of hearing?

You have to admit that cycling sponsorship has some weird aspects.

ONCE? Someone needs to spend money publicising a monopolistic national lottery in countries where they don't sell tickets?

Fassa Bortolo and Mappei? How many people are actually in the market for gypsum and industrial glue?

Polti? Handheld vacuum cleaners? I guess you might need one if you were using industrial quantities of gypsum, but.

And I won't even mention your pals from the Vatican.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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heh.

This is one of the few truly cogent arguments against the ProTour, actually - so many of the companies that sponsor teams have no interest in many of the places they're racing. Euskaltel's publicity gain from the Tour of poland must be pretty minimal, for instance.

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ursus arctos
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Indeed, which is why if it is to continue multiple sponsor arrangements like that between Caisse d'Epargne and the Balleares make sense (though there are probably more than a few customers of Normandy savings banks who would consider retiring to Mallorca).

Cofidis, Festina, Systeme U, "Z" and La Vie Claire all made sense as long you were talking about the Tour. They were relatively new companies making a push into consumer markets with potentially broad appeal and needed to build brand recongnition.

If I were the UCI, I would be targetting multinational consumer products and banking groups that have different brands in different countries, but are trying to build share and awareness of a common heritage. That was T-Mobile's original idea and the thought wasn't bad, it was just the execution of their business strategy that let them down. Danone would be a good bet, as would a bank like Unicredit or Santander. Same goes for energy companies like E.ON or EDF.

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ursus arctos
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BTW, Basso and CSC have just announced that they have agreed to terminate their contract on a "mutually acceptable basis".
Posts: 18670 | From: mediolanum | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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