Radioshack, Nissan, Trek: pick any two

As announced earlier today, CSE Pro Cycling LLC is proud to announce that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The team will hold a license in Luxembourg and be named the RadioShack Nissan Trek Professional Cycling Team.

That’s the press release from 5 September announcing the team resulting in the “merger” of the Radioshack and Leopard teams. Note the long name of Radioshack Nissan Trek, a mouthful already.

In fact it’s undigestable. It’s been pointed out that the proposed team name w0n’t fly because UCI rules only allow for two sponsor names. Here’s the relevant bit:

2.15.050 The name of the UCI ProTeam must be either that of the company or brand name of the principal partner or that of one or both of the two principal partners.

Radioshack, Nissan or Trek, who gets bumped?

Dormant domains
Note that on 30 August the domain was registered by a Nick Schuley. He’s the digital and interactive manager at CSE (curiously the domains were registered in his name and not CSE’s). Note the domain names and were taken by CSE back in June this year.

Bad start
With riders making public criticisms of the way this has been handled and ongoing silence about the roster, things haven’t started well. Giving out the wrong name has to be embarrassing too. And all this before a pedal has been turned. It’s a bit like crashing off the start ramp in time trial.

There is plenty of time for team management to pick themselves up, to get things in place for the 2012 season. But being forced to remove a sponsor from the team’s name could prove awkward.

22 thoughts on “Radioshack, Nissan, Trek: pick any two”

  1. The name was unwieldy but who can they bump if all want to be headline sponsors? Why does it seem like none of this has been thought out properly?
    Really interesting about those domain names being registered as far back as June too.

  2. Way to encourage sponsorship involvement, UCI. In an environment where financing is hard to find a sponsor willing to finance a team is suddenly going to be shunned. This won’t end well.

  3. If a three sponsor name is against the rules what about Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli of 2008-9? Or is Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni one entity?

  4. natalie: it could be a problem if the team has to go back to the sponsor and say “sorry but we have to flick you from the naming rights”.

    Duluth Baptist Clydesdale: indeed but those have been the rules for some time. I’m interested to know if CSE read the rule book before announcing three named sponsors? I’m all in favour of sponsors coming in but do thing the names can get too long. Even this year many say Lampre instead of Lampre-ISD and Vacansoleil instead of Vacansoleil-DCM etc.

    Ben: the rules today insist it’s Androni Giocatelli – CIPI

  5. Natalie: I dont think it means much that radioshacknissan was registered in June. That could just mean it was known that Nissan were coming on board – doesnt suggest anything in regards to ultimately merging with Leopard.

    If its true that Trek are one of the driving forces behind the merger, Id be surprised if theyd happily drop their name – although I suppose it doesnt currently feature in this year’s Radioshack name.

  6. No surprise the puppet-masters behind this merger were working well in advance. These corporate types try to cover all the bases. As Ben points out the team name gets shortened for convenience no matter how long it is, officially or not. Nissan and Trek will still get plenty of publicity, especially from TV’s “Heckyl and Jeckyl” who are so enamored with everything connected to BigTex or the Schlecks. And look at the bright side, one less skunk-like team kit! Now if Sky or Garmin will just come up with an original design we might be able to tell them all apart next season.

  7. Once this all gets sorted out, professional cycling teams will have publicly fired one sponsor with a global presence who had a three-year deal (Daimler aka Mercedes) and publicly rendered another practically anonymous.

    What big-money spending sponsor would want to touch pro cycling after this when they stand a very good chance of being fired?

    Also, I’d look for Pat to dust off a rule or reinterpret a few to make a triple-name okay.

  8. @no_use_for_a_name

    Nissan is not a “big-money spending sponsor”. If it was, the team could have been named Nissan alone. And that is precisely the reason why a team can have maximum two sponsors in their name. Otherwise, all the little sponsors could be put in the name. And there is no sense in naming a team
    Nissan – Radioshack – Trek – Oakley – Bontracer – Nike – ZIPP – SRAM – Deloitte – Freshfields – Bank of America – ESPN. They all sponsor sponsor the new team managed by Bruyneel, but all with a budget that is not enough to carry the weight of a whole team.

  9. Reading the above rule, the three sponsors can all be named,it says one principle name plus one or BOTH secondary ones..what is wrong with Radioshack Nissan Trek on that basis?

  10. Higgins: I didn’t read it that way: “The name of the UCI ProTeam must be either that of the company or brand name of the principal partner or that of one or both of the two principal partners, or the name of its paying agent.”

    So either the company,
    or brand name of the principal partner,
    or that of one or both of the two principal partners,
    or the name of its paying agent

    The good news is that an exception can be granted… but I wonder if CSE had this in place when the team was named.

  11. Doh…Misread sorry, you’re right, its either main sponsor or two partners.

    This will be interesting – why make such a rule if it is going to be over-ruled at the first attempt ?

    Thanks for the clarification, I will try and read first and type second next time..

  12. @ben

    Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni is one company and Androni Giocatoli is the other

    Serramenti in PVC means PVC windows and doors. Diquigiovanni is the company – Something like if Quick Step became known as “Quick Step Wood Laminate Flooring”.

    Androni Giocattoli is a toy company – Giocattoli means toys. They make a lot of plastic shit for the beach that you buy when your kid gets bored and then they leave it in the sand when it’s time to go home. Interesting the last time i bought some (buckets for making castles!) they were still made in Italy while all the other crap in the shop was made in China.

  13. Why not follow the example of FiA’s Formula 1;

    Sponsor-Team-Bike Manufacturer, i;e

    RadioShack Leopard Trek
    SaxoBank Riis Specialized
    HTC High Road Specialized
    SkyProcycling Pinarello

    How many casual followers of the sport know that Movistar are the same team as Caisse D’Epargne?? Or HTC-HighRoad were once T-Mobile…..

  14. ArnageWRC,

    Your naming scheme doesn’t suck in enough money. The UCI is trying for something like NASCAR’s deal where the car has a lead brand that’s used to “name” the car during the broadcast.
    #22 Home Wreckers car driven by John Smith.
    #13 Oracle car driven by Juan Fangio.

    Get the idea?

    Inner Ring,
    The smug thug Brunyeel has a long history of exceptions and plain old pretending when it comes to the UCI. Why would it be any different this time?

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