Bielfeld - Germany  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Marcel Kittel   pictured during  presseconference pers conferentie conference de presse PK Team Giant Shimano with new sponsor ponsor Alpecin  - photo HR/Cor Vos © 2014
  • Sean

    Turbine is an interesting product, I wouldn’t mind knowing some more about it.

  • Benji Marshall

    Who remembers the trendy Power Balance super magic fantastic wristband.
    https://sciencebasedlife.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/power_balance.jpg

    http://www.executivestyle.com.au/power-balance-bracelets-exposed-as-a-sham-195u7

    Ill wear a bucket on my head if you want to pay me 5 figures for it!

    • Guest

      Power Balance = Turbine

      • Lee Turner

        Exactly!!! #cash4comment

      • Sean

        I couldn’t fit that up my nose though. I’m not sure what you’re getting at, i’m happy just sticking my fingers in my nose prior to a race.

    • Geraint Thomas had an endorsement deal with these in about 2012 (called “BioFlow”):

      • Dave

        Didn’t he have a few issues with crashing a couple of years ago? Maybe he should have tried one on each wrist to make sure all those positive chakras weren’t so lopsided.

  • jules

    “there simply isn’t as much money in cycling as there is in other sports”

    I’d dispute this. if you look at what guys like Federer are doing with sponsorship, his appeal isn’t limited to tennis. he transcends tennis and is seen as a broader role model or success symbol. cyclists – with the prior exception of Lance – just aren’t seen that way. I think part of it is the whole ‘cyclists are annoying in traffic’ thing, but also there’s the doping spectre.

    ironically, some people (me) believe tennis is sitting on a timebomb there, and I’m not referring to holding traffic up.

    • MattF

      If you are going to dispute the statement, I think you need to come up with a valid explanation. Globally, cycling is, quite frankly, a fringe sport. It always has been. How many people can name the only American, the first non-European and 3 time winner of cycling’s biggest event, the Tour de France? Whilst I take your point that doping jeopardises sponsorship, to suggest that the ‘cyclists are annoying in traffic’ thing has any bearing whatsoever on the financial strength of the sport is shallow at best.

    • CC

      Well i guess if you were the UCI… you could dispute it. But everyone else involved in the sport, silly career choice.

    • Felicia James


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    • velocite

      You raise an interesting point. I don’t have any stats but I would guess that many more people cycle than play tennis, and that cyclists spend more on gear than tennis players. And of course cyclists buy other things as well. So why are they not seen as such effective product ambassadors? For the same reason that cycling is largely ignored in the msm? Is it because they’re mostly little guys with skinny arms? Or the trafffic thing?

      • jules

        I’ll contradict myself from above – I don’t think the sport is necessarily the defining factor. Anna Meares is a hugely popular sporting figure in Australia – it has to do with her comeback from breaking her neck and winning gold at the Olympics (Aussies don’t necessarily understand a lot of sports, but they understand gold medals). same thing with Lance. sometimes it’s more about the person’s story. no one wants to touch Tomic or Kyrgios.

        in response to MattF – I took this from a Gruen episode. they talked about sporting figures transcending the sport – selling stuff not associated with the sport (cars, fragrances). Federer is an example – he’s seen as marketable for reasons based in his sporting success, but beyond that – it’s his looks and personality, his elegance and class that help him represent marketable qualities for promoting products that have nothing to do with tennis.

        cyclists are not defined by cycling. but I think they are at a disadvantage in a few ways, another is that you don’t see them in bike races – disguised in the bunch, by a helmet and sunnies.

        • Dave

          Despite cycling being one of the most individualistic sports of all, Anna Meares ticks the ‘team’ box because she only wins in the national colours.

          This is hugely important in Australia. Look at the damage that Michael Clarke’s endorsement portfolio suffered when he skipped a Test series against NZ during the public trainwreck of his breakup with Lara Bingle, the sponsors frantically running away from Shane Watson or the rise in Mitchell Johnson’s stocks after he slayed the poms a couple of years ago.

          Tomic and Kyrgios could get that too – all will be forgiven if they bring Australia success in the Davis Cup.

          • jules

            very good points. it’s partly the transferrence that occurs between supporters and sports stars when they win for Australia that makes the connection.

      • Dave

        “… I would guess that many more people cycle than play tennis …”
        It would depend if we’re including both normal cycling and sport cycling. If it’s only the latter, then I would guess tennis is far bigger in Australia. Tennis has quite a healthy rate of grassroots participation in Australia, and in terms of elite competition it’s probably a second-tier sport (behind the big three of AFL, NRL and cricket) ranked alongside the likes of netball, soccer and union. Cycling, on the other hand, is a fourth-tier sport usually found in the ‘other sports’ section.

        “So why are they not seen as such effective product ambassadors?”
        They are too anonymous (with the exception of maybe 4-5 big names at any one time) and there’s not much chance for them to develop a profile the public can connect with. If I was an exec considering sponsorship and I turned on the TV to see what I’d be getting, the fact that even the commentators can’t tell them apart (let’s not mention any names, we wouldn’t want Phil Ligget or Ant McCrossan to be embarrassed) would not inspire confidence – what hope would the rest of us have? I’d much rather go for a tennis player (no helmets!) or even a cricketer who wears a helmet when batting but at least whips it off for the money shot on the back page of the paper when they reach a century or score the winning runs.

        “For the same reason that cycling is largely ignored in the msm?”
        Cycling being relegated to the ‘other sports’ section is a symptom of cycling’s poor profile, not a cause.

        “Is it because they’re mostly little guys with skinny arms?”
        Definitely a factor, but not so much as the anonymity brought on by wearing helmets and racing in large packs. Sky and Orica in particular have done a decent job of circumventing this with well-posed publicity shots and probably a bit of photoshopping too, but it can only do so much and could backfire if a potential sponsor attended a race before signing on the dotted line.

        “Or the trafffic thing?”
        Definitely a factor in Australia.

        • velocite

          “Cycling being relegated to the ‘other sports’ section is a symptom of cycling’s poor profile, not a cause.”

          You may be right, I have no idea. I probably should go to the State Library and check the facts rather than depending on my memory, but I do remember as a schoolboy following the rivalry between Russell Mockridge and Syd Patterson on the back page of The Age in the fifties, complete with pictures. What those local track stars had to me was glamour, which is perhaps lacking in modern cycling. Is it because it has become more technical and more confusing? I mostly read Shane’s reports on myriad far away races and riders I don’t care about, pretty much the opposite of Mockridge and Pato at the local velodrome.

          Is tennis really healthy at the grassroots level? It seems much smaller to me than it used to be – when the Davis Cup was a bigger deal than Wimbledon and it was always between us and the Yanks.

          • Dave

            For sure, the sport used to be much bigger – and not just in Victoria either.

            100 years ago, even Adelaide Oval had a velodrome (not a flat cinder track like the SCG had) around the outside, which impacted the way the ground played for both cricket and football right up to 2011. The front and back straights of the track were responsible for the short square boundaries and the longest boundary down the ground in world cricket (batsmen could take five runs if they mistimed the shot and it stopped before getting to the boundary field was set wrong and they didn’t get enough on it for the ball to get to the fence) and for footballers the impossible shots from the pockets which led to the invention of the checkside (the banana kick to Victorians).

            But cycling is not in that place any more, it’s just about dead in Australia with the national body needing Federal Government subsidies just for day-to-day operations in addition to the ring-fenced Australia’s Winning Edge funds available to the high performance program. Even darker days are yet to come – Rio will probably be the last race for Anna Meares other than a testimonial event at the Superdrome, and then we’ll need a new star to lead the charge.

            The local council on the hand, just spent a whole lot of money on putting in additional courts at one of the local tennis clubs near me, and the courts both there and at the other one ~3km away seem to be well used every day of the week.

            • velocite

              The big thing about tennis as a spectator sport is that it’s mostly about global celebrities. Always has been I think. The competition at the top is between a comprehensible number of players who play a well known round of tournaments peaking at Wimbledon with catchy achievement markers, like the ‘Grand Slam’, ie winning the four ‘majors’, first achieved by the American Donald Budge. I’m not a huge tennis fan, take no interest these days, but I knew Budge established the Grand Slam, just had to Google to get the year, 1938. Road cycling is a total contrast, the races are so long and so complicated and structured around teams who come and go and change their names every few years.

              Would be interesting and fun to have a forum or retreat or something and wrestle with the whole cycling profile issue.

    • Emma Jackson


      .?my neighbor’s sister is making $98 HOURLY on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
      3zcy…………
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  • chop

    “it’s estimated his fall from grace cost him as much as US$200,000 ” – might be missing a few zeroes i think guys ;-)

  • david__g

    The Turbine is clearly bullshit. But would I wear one if someone was going to pay me $$$? Hell yeah. Not too sure about Alpecin though, I’m not sure I want hair like Marcel’s…

    • winkybiker

      Yes, what was it that snapped in Marcel’s brain the morning he saw that hairstyle in the mirror and gave it the big thumbs up?

  • Derek Maher

    Probably the majority of pro riders are just happy enough to get on a team and make some money doing what they really like for a living.
    Pro Cycling teams I don’t think have copped on to the non cycling products market to raise more cash. The women’s pro teams should find many makers of female orientated products could be a lucrative market to tap into with a proper sales presentation.

  • Jonathan.

    “Getting images of the product onto a cycling website such as CyclingTips, or into a cycling magazine, will often attract an additional cash bonus for the athlete.”

    Sooo, do you guys get any kickback$ for your re-posting of these images? Coupla nice endorsements up there for Alpecin and Turbine. This feels a lot like infotainment.

    • We spoke about the irony of this before publishing. We certainly hope brand ambassadors aren’t getting kickbacks for this article!

    • To add to what Wade said: no, we don’t get kickbacks of any kind.

    • Dave

      Keep in mind that this doesn’t just apply to products being endorsed, but also team names themselves.

      Back when the ABC had live radio coverage of the TDU, the strict non-commercial policy of the ABC meant the announcers had to use a non-commercial name if there was one which could be recognised – Orica-Greenedge was just Greenedge, Garmin-Sharp was Slipstream and RadioShack-Leopard was just Leopard.

      Interestingly, the benefit of having their name mentioned every few minutes on two other networks was one of the main reasons Sky didn’t enter even a token bid the last time that UK TV rights for the Tour de France were up for grabs.

  • Andy B

    It would be interesting to read an article on products pro’s use that they aren’t sponsored for (i.e gabba)

    • Dave

      Or also the times where some of them have deals with companies that are in competition with one of their team sponsors – I noticed there was a mention of Gerrans being connected with a Volvo dealer but not the fact it conflicts with his team being sponsored by Renault.

      The case of Linda Villumsen not looking after her team sponsor at the World Championships also comes to mind.

      • david__g

        I’d argue they weren’t looking after her,

        • Dave

          But instead of breaching her contract, all she had to do to solve that was to ask her team to print off a couple of Wilier stickers to go on her non-team bike.

          Plenty of male pro cyclists (assisted by their mechanics) do it right, they sticker up third-party parts on their race bikes with the team sponsor’s branding and the team makes sure that the display bikes put out for photographers are fully compliant.

          Does anybody really believe that riders like Chris Froome are actually using Stages power meters in major races? Let’s be realistic here!

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