It remains to be seen whether the Tour de France is being conducted. A cancellation will throw a bomb under the stage.
the OLYMPICS have pushed to next year. The same is the european football championship. Coronakrisen has chopped a big hole in the sport’s annual calendar.
But the organizer of the summer’s third major sporting event, the Tour de France, are still struggling desperately to finish the race in 2020.
the Reason is – of course – money. A cancellation will cost løbsarrangøren ASO expensive, and for professional cycling as a whole, there is even more at stake.
Gets the Tour scrapped in the year, it can pull the rug out from under the sport, as we know it today.
“So we are talking about a total disaster. Without the Tour de France and all cycling’s business model collapse,” writes the Quick-Steps holdchef, Patrick Lefevere, in a column in the belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
Many cycling teams rely heavily on sponsors and partners, who pay a large part of the teams annual budget.
Businesses can use the sport to promote a company name. And in the calculation fills the Tour de France with an audience of millions at tv screens more than every other race combined.
“I would estimate that about 55-60 percent of the interest on a given year is centered on the Tour de France and thus the same value of exposure for sponsors,” says the businessman Lars Seier Christensen.
Together with Virtu Cycling Group, which right now is in liquidation, he has invested in the south african team NTT. Earlier he shot large amounts of money into Bjarne Riis’s former team, Team Saxo Bank.
the Tour de France-team running with annual budgets of well over 100 million dollars, and companies can pay the amount in the size, expect to get something for the money.
“Some of the big sponsors have an extreme need for exposure. Will the Tour be canceled, they lose a lot of tv-time,” says Steffen Kromann, who is the managing director of the Danish Riwal Readynez team.
Here, he fights a daily battle to land sponsorship deals.
And although the Danish andendivisionshold operates with absolutely other budgets than the teams on the sport’s top shelf, is it the same product, he should offer:
Exposure and network.
“It is especially the lack of tv time, pushing the sport, because the sponsors do not get the product they have bought and paid for.”
“at the same time, have rode a lot of netværksting with bike rides and events, where we meet with the sponsors. It is one of the products you buy.”
“the Tour de France is a huge venue. There are events where there is a total of 200-300 people,” says Steffen Kromann.
It is here you must find the reason why the sport is terrified at the thought of the cancellation of the Tour.
the Sponsors have committed to pay for the whole year, but a cancellation will create a new and uncertain situation.
For how can you defend that companies do not get something for their investment?
“There’s hardly many, who have taken into account something as unlikely as an outright cancellation of the Tour de France in their contracts,” says Lars Seier Christensen.
Some sponsors pay the entire amount at the start of the season, but many agreements are designed with settlement in several tranches during the year.
the Fear is that some will simply refuse to pay the next installments, if there is no prospect that the Tour is being conducted. Already, they have lost exposure in the whole of the canceled the spring season.
“you will Therefore see also that the team is starting to cut collectively in wages,” said Jesper Worre, who is head of PostNord Denmark Around.
“sponsorship agreements are made under the assumption that things will be implemented, and that the teams running the race,” he says.
What direct impact a canceled Tour de France will have on the teams ‘ sponsorship deals in the year 2020, it is however difficult to say, according to Lars Seier Christensen.
“I would think that most sponsors are decent and responsible companies, which will continue to pay and accept that it is force majeure.”
“But you can’t rule out that someone trying to improve their cash flow by failing to pay the selected bills, or in some cases simply goes bankrupt or otherwise loses the ability to pay,” saith the erhvervsmanden.
Even if the money falls, as agreed in the year, a cancellation of the season’s supremely important race hardly whet the appetite of putting money into professional cycling in the future.
Also why is the situation of a potential bomb under the stage, and organizers and the team is ready to go far to find a model, so the course can be implemented.
“As in the rest of the society will receive the consequences if you do not go to work. So there is no money to pay the bills. Therefore, we also say: If at all possible, so we run,” says Brian Holm, who is sports director at Quick-Step.