August 21, 2006
Tour de Georgia seeking 2007 title sponsor
My local stage race, the Tour de Georgia, lost its title sponsor when the local Ford dealers' advertising cooperative backed out. They're pounding the pavement now, looking for a replacement.
Expected dates for the 2007 edition are April 17-22. In 2006, Discovery Channel, CSC, Phonak, QuickStep, Davitamon-Lotto, and Prodir-Saunier Duval (in Europe, vice versa) all fielded squads, with 2006 Tour de France stage winners Floyd Landis, Matteo Tosatto, and Yaroslav Popovych all in the field.
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Why would Ford drop sponsorship? Afraid to be linked with doping? Despite what you might think, Phonak is finding that it's really not so bad.
Posted by: Cosmo at Aug 21, 2006 10:15:07 AM
There's a lot of hand-waving about that; the first story I saw on that suggested something like "Ford closed a plant in Georgia, so their priorities are changing," which, of course, has ZERO impact on their ability to sponsor the race. The others have pretty much just said "no comment."
Posted by: Frank at Aug 21, 2006 10:29:31 AM
My guess is that Ford is wrestling with some really big issues these days. The Tour de Georgia was probably an easy decision for them to make as they cut everywhere. From my perspective, this can't go the way of the Tour duPont in the post LeMond days. We need to hold on to Georgia and together with the Tour of California, we need to show the world that we are a destination for pro cycling. Not just the place where Lance came from. Everyone knows that we have the eyes and revenue potential. If we can show sustainability, we can possibly get a ProTour event here. HomeDepot, Coke, UPS, and other Georgia companies, this is your chance!
Posted by: pelotonjim at Aug 21, 2006 3:55:36 PM