June 15, 2004
It's official: Postal to become Discovery Channel team
In a 3-year deal announced today, Discovery Communications announced it will immediately become a sub-sponsor, and after this season the primary sponsor of the US Postal Service team.
The new team will be the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, with Lance Armstrong not only as a rider, but an on-air personality on the company's networks.
"Lance is a role model known for determination, integrity and a spirit that never gives up," said Judith A. McHale, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications. "This global partnership will bring Lance and the team to many of Discovery's programming and off-air activities in the United States, Europe and across the globe."
Update: You can read the full press release online.
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This is fabulous! I love it when I can be a fan of both the sponsor and the sponsored.
Hope however this doesn't take any coverage of the actual TdF event away from OLN. Don't see why it should though since Discovery sponsors the team and not the sport.
Posted by: Noelle at Jun 15, 2004 3:20:45 PM
While your statement is true, it may be for the wrong reasons.
OLN actually does sponsor US Postals team (you can see their logo on their jerseys). However, OLN should still have exclusive broadcasting rights for the TDF, although lance will be appearing on Discovery Health and Discovery Fitness.
Posted by: Shawn at Jun 16, 2004 10:12:58 AM
Ah, you are right - didn't realize that. I was just reading OLN's statement posting on procyclingnews.com:
As the leading destination for cycling sports and stories on television, OLN is pleased the U.S. team will have the support it needs to continue racing. Having a revered brand like Discovery come on board speaks volumes to OLN's long-held belief that the Tour de France - and cycling in general - is compelling and dramatic sports programming.
OLN is the exclusive U.S. rights holder for the Tour de France through a multi-year contract. In addition to the Tour, OLN televises some of the greatest cycling events on the planet, including the Vuelta a Espana, the Giro d'Italia, the Spring Classics and domestic events like the US Pro Championships and the Tour de Georgia.
The network will continue our sponsorship of the team alongside Discovery. We look forward to continuing our great relationship with Lance and the team, and creating innovative programming like we've seen this year with the success of The Lance Chronicles.
That's the perfect combination as far as I'm concerned. Leave the race calling to OLN (and Phil and Bob and Paul - I love those guys) and do some behind the scenes stuff on Discovery.
A lot of those Discovery channels have heavy female viewerships. Hope we'll get some more female fans with this new sponsorship!
Posted by: Noelle at Jun 16, 2004 10:55:13 AM