March 23, 2004
US Postal to end sponsorship?
CyclingNews notes a recent article in Advertising Age (not available on the web) that US Postal is "poised to abandon its lead sponsorship of Lance Armstrong and the [US Postal Service] Pro Cycling Team" at contract's end in December 2004.
The story led online watchdog PostalWatch to issue a crowing press release that "Postal Service Set to Pull the Plug on $50 Million Pro-Cycling Boondoggle".
CyclingNews quotes US Postal team director Johan Bruyneel that the Postal Service has not notified the team of any intention to end its sponsorship, and that negotiations are ongoing:
"We're still talking to them about everything. We're still very positive about moving forward with them."
PostalWatch notes that, where the sponsorship was expected to increase the Postal Service's international revenue by $20 million, that USPS international revenue decreased by $12.8 million between 1999 and 2003, "despite the cycling team's outstanding performance and extremely high profile".
It's an open question whether Armstrong would want to race next year (which he has suggested would be his last) in a new team organization.