The Wall Street Journal in an article just published makes a big issue of the fact that wealthy backers who financed Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France wins, failed to make money.
Financial backers of any sport are usually nothing more than wealthy groupies of that particular sport; there is nothing wrong with that.
These are usually smart businessmen who did not make their money by acting irrationally or by making stupid decisions.
They have a passion for a sport, be it cycling, sailing, auto racing, whatever. If they put money into their choice of sport, it is by way of a membership to an exclusive club, where they get to rub shoulders with the heroes of that sport.
How can anyone possibly make money from sponsoring a cycling team, unless it is a company producing and selling a product, or a service? The only benefit from sponsorship is the brand recognition that it may bring if your team is successful.
If you have no product or service to sell, it is impossible make money. Initially this group of wealthy backers had no product or service. After the team was established they were able to talk the US Postal Service into coming on board.
I could never understand the logic behind the US Postal Services involvement. Had it been UPS or FedEx I could have seen that, but the Postal Service? Whether Lance Armstrong wins or loses, has no bearing on whether or not, I mail someone a letter. And if I mail a letter, who else will I use but the Postal Service?
Now the fact that the US Postal Service was a sponsor has come back to bite the whole team and everyone involved with it.
Why? Because the US Postal Service is Uncle Sam, and you don’t fuck with Uncle Sam.
Had the sponsors been UPS or FedEx for example, I doubt there would be a Federal Investigation going on right now into allegations of doping. Unlike baseball, these alleged offences took place on foreign soil. Does the US have jurisdiction?
The people who put money into “Tailwind Sports,” the original backer of Lance Armstrong’s team, are probably wishing they were never involved.
They try to distance themselves by saying, “We are also a victim, we lost money too;” when I’m sure they knew going in they could never make a profit. As for the Wall Street Journal they just keep rehashing this old story over and over; it fills space, and sells papers.
I for one will not speculate on the outcome, I will just wait and see. Feel free to weigh in with your take on this whole mess