Cycling and Track


A place for the discussion of all things not closely related to the sport and its competitive side. (as always, locked for the duration of major international championship)

Cycling and Track

Postby Cooter Brown » Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:35 pm

On the radio the other day the DJ mentioned going to the Tour de France and how it's free for spectators.

If that's true for all cycling tours, how exactly does the sport of cycling make money to support itself, offer prize money, organize tours, etc?

If cycling can do it without paying customers why not track?

I have no idea about cycling so feel free to inform me.
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cycling vs running

Postby dralmorris » Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:54 pm

b ]to answer the question of cycling vs. running and money for sponsorship the simple answer is gear. Runners and running (USATF) get lots of monies thru shoe companies (NIKE). Well in cycling the gear is more elaborate and much more expensive. A good bike can go to 4 figures and even 5 figures. Then the shoes, riding pants, shirts, other clothes, bottles, drinks, food & energy bars, helmets, etc., etc., and etc. Finally cycling even gets more monies from the banks and cars companies and bike companies together with other corporations (U S POSTAL & Discovery channel), etc. )which sponsor teams and riders/b]
Most bikers are well-educated and have mush disposable monies for sports and recreation--- even more than well-heeled runners do.
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Re: cycling vs running

Postby utopian » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:34 pm

dralmorris wrote:Finally cycling even gets more monies from the banks and cars companies and bike companies together with other corporations (U S POSTAL & Discovery channel), etc. )which sponsor teams and riders/b]


I think that this is the key. The companies that sponsor the teams are active in their promotion. Europeans follow the teams the way we follow basketball and football teams--they follow both the team and its stars. We just don't hear about this aspect of it. The media focuses on Armstrong for two reasons: Americans know little about the sport and it is easier to concentrate on a hero than to explain it. Even if the media explained it more, it wouldn't help, for it would need reinforcement and that's not in the cards for now.

However, I don't agree with the suggestion that cyclists are well educated and well paid. That is not my impression at all. They are not going to retire and talk over with their financial manager about how to handle their investments. The highest goal for many, it not most, riders appears to be to start up or take over a bicycle shop in a small town. That sounds like a good life to me, but it is not the U.S. vision of the end of a successful sports career.
Last edited by utopian on Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cycling and Track

Postby Powell » Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:33 am

Cooter Brown wrote:On the radio the other day the DJ mentioned going to the Tour de France and how it's free for spectators.

If that's true for all cycling tours, how exactly does the sport of cycling make money to support itself, offer prize money, organize tours, etc?

If cycling can do it without paying customers why not track?

I have no idea about cycling so feel free to inform me.


Cycling races take place on public roads, so limitting access to paying audiences isn't technically feasible. Much the same as marathons (or other road races) - they are also financed by sources other than ticket sales.
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Re: Cycling and Track

Postby Cooter Brown » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:37 am

[quote="Powell"

Cycling races take place on public roads, so limitting access to paying audiences isn't technically feasible. Much the same as marathons (or other road races) - they are also financed by sources other than ticket sales.[/quote]

The difference is that marathons bring in money from entry fees from the average joes in the race. I wouldn't think there's anyone in a cycling race other than professionals who don't pay an entry fee.
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Postby Powell » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:21 am

Some road races are elite-only. All major Japanese marathons have strict entry standards and feature a couple hundred runners at most. Not to mention events such as the world half-marathon championships.
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Re: cycling vs running

Postby mal » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:20 am

I agree that the value of the clothing and bikes is more than shoes, but I believe the real reason for support is that cycling is part of the social fabric in Europe. There is a cycling league in Europe that has many teams competing at all different levels. Each of the Jerseys has 50 advertisements on it, and the races are tracked towards a premiership. There are always local riders, and people live in a more village-like atmosphere.

In general, their sports fans are more broadly educated than the US fan. And they have a longer attention span.

Interesting to me is that we view Discovery, as the US team. Yet CSC (favored in this year's TDF) is sponsored by a California consultant / IT solutions company.
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Re: cycling vs running

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:57 am

mal wrote:I agree that the value of the clothing and bikes is more than shoes, but I believe the real reason for support is that cycling is part of the social fabric in Europe. There is a cycling league in Europe that has many teams competing at all different levels. Each of the Jerseys has 50 advertisements on it, and the races are tracked towards a premiership. There are always local riders, and people live in a more village-like atmosphere.

In general, their sports fans are more broadly educated than the US fan. And they have a longer attention span.

Interesting to me is that we view Discovery, as the US team. Yet CSC (favored in this year's TDF) is sponsored by a California consultant / IT solutions company.


CSC is sponsored by the Danish unit of the company, not the US parent.
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Cycling and Track

Postby XML » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:15 am

Interesting to read some of the observations on cycling, how it makes its money, etc. In fact, the money for cycling is generated through a rather tightly woven social and business framework almost non-existent here in the US.

European, and to a lesser extent South American, cycling gets ENORMOUS television exposure, making it incredibly cost effective for big time sponsors to advertise their companies and/or products. It is a tradition in cycling for riders from lesser teams to hammer out front in an early breakaway; though they have no chance of winning they may indeed garner 2-3 hours of TV time for their sponsors, making it a profitable day for the team regardless of whether they place or even finish the race.

Many cycling teams are not just driven by the commerial aspects of the sport but also by wealthy individuals who own teams out of either vanity or just plain love of the sport; same goes for race sponsorship as well. It's just such a part of the culture it all works. Though admission fees aren't charged for open road races, many of the villages throughout Europe will hold races around the city centers called 'kermesse'; they charge admission, have concession stands, bars, the works. Just a huge party. They pay appearance fees to big stars, which in turn guarantees a big turnout at the race. These are really just a big show; oftentimes the winner will be figured out in advance with a local favorite being given the nod to 'take it at the line'.

The public get to see the stars out hammering, drink a bunch of beer, and go away happy. Again, it all drives the money aspect of the sport. Towns fight to hold stages of major tours because they know it brings publicity and tourist dollars. Prize money will also come from sponsors who have their logo plastered all over the winners podium; in big races there are huge race/publicity caravans with all sorts of companies throwing out promotional crap, candy, etc.

As for the riders, the fact is in Europe and South America it is a blue collar working mans sport; these are generally not the types of hipster folk one often finds at the starting line of most US bike races. Closest analog I can think of would be a small town Canadian hockey hopeful; a lot of cyclists are just these super tough and hungry blue collar Euros who see cycling as a possible way out. Even the ones that don't make it big get to be out there in the public eye, wearing the flashy jerseys, getting the girls (believe me, cycling has a LOT of groupies) before settling in to whatever job they were destined for originally. A previous post is correct; many of these folks aspire to not much more than owning a little bike shop in their hometown. You don't even have to be a super champion to make it big; just winning a stage in any reasonbly big stage-race assures one of a certain life-time local notoriety.

Just my 02.

Cheers
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Re: Cycling and Track

Postby EPelle » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:44 am

XML wrote:Just my 02.

Thank you for donating to the Pelle Fund... If I may now cash in and make good on all the cents floating around, I may just have enough for a slurpee.
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Cycling and Track

Postby XML » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:22 am

EPelle wrote: [Thank you for donating to the Pelle Fund... If I may now cash in and make good on all the cents floating around, I may just have enough for a slurpee.]

If I'd known I was donating to the fund, I would have signed off:

Just my $1,000,000.00!!

;-)[/quote]
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