ProTeam Stockmarket

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Who’s up and who’s down?

As ever, The Inner Ring keeps an eye on the money that comes into the sport. Whilst I love watching the pros battle over bergs and cols, as well as racing and training personally, in the quieter moments it’s interesting to follow the money.

Of the 18 UCI ProTeams for 2011, nine are linked to companies listed on different stockmarkets around the world.

Team Listed Company
Team BMC Sonova (Switzerland)
HTC-Highroad HTC Corp (Taiwan)
Movistar Telefonica (Spain)
Quick Step Mohawk Industries (USA)
Sky Pro Cycling BSkyB (Great Britain)
Omega Pharma – Lotto Omega Pharma (Belgium)
Team Garmin – CervĂ©lo       Garmin (USA)
Team Radioshack Radioshack (USA)
Katusha Gazprom (Russia)

Some connections are obvious, for example Garmin or Sky. But did you know Quick-Step is owned by an American conglomerate, Mohawk Industries? I’ve put BMC with a link to Sonova as there is a big connection between Andy Rihs, the billionaire behind Sonova (formerly known as Phonak) and BMC.

What is interesting is that for all the talk of trying to reach a big audience in Europe and beyond, when you look at it, the sponsors in the sport are generally corporate small fry. Half of the sponsors in the sport aren’t on the stockmarkets, rather they are smaller businesses with local interests. For example Vacansoleil just want to reach people in a few European countries and Liquigas doesn’t have much of an interest in impressing anyone outside Italy, except co-sponsor Cannondale who want to reach fans in the USA and beyond.

Just for the sake of it, I’m going to watch these stocks to create a virtual ProTour stock exchange index and will report how these companies are doing during the year. There’s no point bringing you details of every price change, rather just anything interesting. For example earlier this year it was rumoured that RadioShack was takeover prey for rival Best Buy, something that could have consequences for the company’s branding and marketing, including the team.

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{ 6 comments }

bikecellar January 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

cue lisa minelli singing the obvious

Anonymous January 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Gazprom, USA?

TheInnerRing January 3, 2011 at 8:33 am

Anonymous: Russian of course. But my basket of stocks includes the shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange for easier comparison. I'll edit the text.

Scott January 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I always thought the continued Cannondale sponsorship of Italian teams to be a bit strange.

Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 6:16 am

Cannondale is owned by Dorel – a public company on the TSE in Canada, and at one time a NASDAQ listed company

TheInnerRing January 17, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thanks Anonymous, I've covered Dorel on here before but hesitated here as Cannondale is only one brand within Dorel and the US bike company is also a co-sponsor and not the main backer of the team.

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