Outdoor News Wire is reporting that the Discovery Channel is dropping it’s sponsorship of the cycling team following the 2007 season. The Discovery Channel. has sponsored the team for three seasons, and says that it has elected to drop sponsorship as it reevaluates and focuses on it’s “core business goals and objectives.”
I suppose this shouldn’t come as a major shock. Discovery stepped in when the Postal Service decided to move away from sponsoring the team as well, and with Lance Armstrong, who owns the team incidently, retired from the sport, few Americans follow cycling. Late last year, Discovery also announced that it’s television programming would begin to focus on the things that first put it on the map, namely animal/nature specials, science, and travel, as opposed to some of the home improvement and car rebuilding show it’s had in recent years.
I’m sure that the team will be marketable as long as Lance owns it, but the team now faces the real opportunity of being sponsored by a European company next year. Cycling is far bigger in Europe than it is in the states, even when Lance was winning tours, and with Floyd Landis out for 2007 and still facing a doping scandal, it’s unlikely to make a come back soon.
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