Ag2r’s Hotmail account

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Click the image to image to enlarge, it’s a a screenshot from the Ag2r La Mondiale team website. It’s a nice looking site on a sub-domain of the sponsor’s own website. Note the clean design and corporate colours, it’s good stuff.

But…
Look more closely though and the only email address on the website is a … Hotmail address, I’ve framed it in red above. Now Hotmail works fine but it’s a cheap and free email service and not exactly professional. Surely when you spend millions backing a ProTour cycling team you can have an email inbox thrown in for free too?

Other teams
Given the team is a key part of the company’s public relations and advertising budget, surely a Hotmail address just sends the wrong message? I’ve written before how Cofidis was still using a fax machine and again we see how a French team is way behind its rivals.

Think of a team as a small public relations business. Others have their own web domain and every staff member is given an email address, and some even equip their riders with Blackberries, iPhones etc so that everyone can stay in touch when they’re on the road. Now does email make you win races? No, but you can communicate better and anyone spending millions on a team should think about the means to ensure everyone stays in touch.

Alex Murray April 20, 2010 at 9:03 am

It's weird but doesn't seem that odd. There's a fair number of teams I've contacted where the PR doesn't have a corporate email, even when they are employed by the team rather than freelance.

For example, the HTC columbia email addresses are all @highroadsports.com and I think the CErvelo ones used to be @unitedcycling.com

Then again most teams do seem to make running a coherent press operation a challenge that relies on you having personal numbers and contacts.

TheInnerRing April 20, 2010 at 10:22 am

Hi Alex, you are right that a lot of teams are doing this. But since a team can only win a few races a year, the PR effort needs to be concentrated across the whole season.

Podiums are great but there are other avenues to exploit. You'd think a sponsor would try to maximise their investment in a team and give the PR staff a clear role as well as some basic IT.

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