An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

That post-cyclysm glow

Interesting article here on the business end of professional cycling... the relationship between television coverage, team sponsors, and marketing promotion. Here we thought teevee coverage sucked these days because OLN shot their wad on the "Lance Chronicles," and then changed their name to the überstoopid "Versus Network."

IFM, a sports research company based in Germany that measures sponsorship impact, calculates that cycling has plunged as a marketing investment since the start of the 2007 season in March. The early season included four pro tour events: Paris-Nice, the Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo races in Italy and the Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium.

According to IFM, the three races suffered a drop in total live audiences with the 91-year-old Belgian tour faring the worst with a 77 percent decline from a year earlier.

That drop depressed the worth of cycling sponsorships, which are valued at about 10 percent of the cost of buying traditional advertising time in the same time slots, according to Jens Seeberger, spokesman for IFM.

Tracking six key television markets in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Britain, IFM found that television coverage of cycling events started to drop off after the Landis affair from almost eight and a half hours to five and a half hours. With the start of the 2007 season, Spain and Italy dropped live coverage.

Aside from the astonishing news that the US is considered a key TV market for cycling, and aside from the nifty business revelations here (10 percent of the cost to advertise to support a whole damn professional cycling team?! That's a no brainer.... um, I think), the point seems to be that people are not tuning into bike races on the teevee as much as they used to just a year ago. Is that connected to doping scandals? Or is it connected to the launch of Pinch Flat News?

Note to Corporate moguls like you, decay: Advertising here at Pinch Flat costs $1 million. But you can buy our kits for just $10K!