Professional Cycling For the Fans - Who actually "owns" the teams?
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07-20-04, 10:54 AM
Who actually owns the assets the teams use? The R/V's, cars, support trailers, tools etc. I know a lot of it is payroll that would be in the budget covered by the sponsors but there is still a substantial amount of hard assets. For example, I'm assuming that US Postal does not actually own these items and that those assets will be used by the new Discovery team next year. So who actually owns the teams?
07-20-04, 10:58 AM
My guess is that the items you mentioned are leased, rather than owned outright.
Postal is owned by Tailwind Sports Corporation.
07-20-04, 11:25 AM
True, they are probably leased. But one year terms aren't cheap ... and I'm sure a lot of things the team would prefer to keep for more than one year. In any case someone has to sign the leases, and get insurance policies etc. I guess that would be Tailwind Sports though.
I would be interested in better understanding the business of running a cycling team ... any links?
07-21-04, 06:37 AM
The teams are actually owned by companies who manage the team, employ the staff, riders, etc., buy or lease all the equipment, raise money by selling sponsorships, and performing all the administrative functions like travel, payroll, etc. This company is rarely the same as the title sponsor. As Laggard mentioned, Postal is actually owned by Tailwind Sports. This will not change with the change in sponsorship. Bjarne Riis happens to own the company that owns CSC, so he is both DS and owner. When teams change title sponsor, such as ONCE, Banesto, etc., did this year, the actual ownership of the team stays the same, the owning company just tries to line up new sponsors. I suppose there may be times where a major sponsor wants to continue sponsoring but has concerns about team management and can force changes in ownership/management.
Some sponsors view sponsorship as strictly advertising investment and do not get involved in team management details. Some sponsor because the love the sport and like to get involved. Some may actually own the teams they sponsor.
The TDF Guide that Velonews put out lists the teams, their sponsors and the owners. Teams have websites that probably have such info also.
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