In a surprising move, Discovery Channel opted not to renew it’s sponsorship of it’s professional cycling team. The current contract expires at the end of this season. Cycling News was able to get a quote from Sean Yates.
“It was unexpected,” he stated. “They have been involved for three years. I guess the primary reason they came into the sport was because of Lance… he is no longer here as an active rider although he is involved with the team. Three years is one of the shorter periods of sponsorship that I can remember for a top team. I would say that normally the optimum amount of time is five or six years to gain the maximum amount of publicity, of payback, so one would have thought that they would have continued a bit more. But no, that’s not the case.”
This could prove difficult to get a new sponsor while trying to bring Ivan Basso back into the pro ranks. The negative publicity surrounding Ivan may prove difficult to overcome when trying to find some one with deep pockets as well as a thick skin.