If you haven’t heard, Lance Armstrong is starting a new team in 2010. There was much speculation before the formal announcement as to whom the sponsor would be. Some sounded pretty exciting, but when the word finally slipped out there were laughs and derision.
Oracle, Starbucks, Google, Apple — and many more corporations were mentioned as possible sponsors. Many of the fans participating in conjecture concerning the sponsor were anticipating some “sexy” sponsor that they felt lived up to the Armstrong brand. There was no lack of shock when the sponsorship was made official.
Team RadioShack. Yep, the primary sponsor for Lance Armstrong’s 2010 team is RadioShack. I will admit that I was surprised. You certainly don’t think of the electronics retail store as being a Pro Tour team sponsor.
I was also surprised at the negative reaction from many fans. I would go so far to say that in the Internet forums and Twitter feeds I saw it was most fans who were making fun of the choice. Why? Should we not be thankful?
Yes, it is true that RadioShack does not have an iconic brand as, say, Starbucks or Apple. However, it has been around for many years and many people remember with fondness their Tandy computers. They also have a presence in many countries. You also have to consider that it could never be Circuit City – RadioShack definitely has an advantage over that former electronics big box store.
Now, I’m not saying this because I am going to be a big Team RadioShack fan. I don’t even know who is going to be on the team and the fact that Lance Armstrong is on it is not enough to win me over. If it is stacked with Americans, I might be won over. If Hincapie should go (which I’m led understand is NOT going to happen), I would find it hard not to follow.
For now, Columbia-HTC is my team. Should they lose George, then it would lose much of its American touch. At that point, I would need to reassess my loyalties. I just can’t help but think that Columbia-HTC is going to see some shakeups over the next several months.
Back to Team RadioShack… Regardless of what I think about the retail store that is RadioShack, I express a big thank you to the corporation for choosing to invest in an American Pro Tour team. It already seems to have been a positive move for them. Their stock value has increased and they followed it up with another positive announcement of an agreement with T-Mobile to provide their services.
Thank you, RadioShack… and welcome to the peloton Team RadioShack. Now, we just want to know who will be on the team. My guess we’ll start learning more as soon as the Tour finishes in Paris.