Lance Armstrong announced his new team sponsor for 2010: Radio Shack. Ã‚Â The official blurb reads as:
RadioShack Corporation is proud to announce a partnership with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong to form a new American Pro-Tour cycling team. Beginning in 2010, Lance Armstrong will compete for Team RadioShack as a cyclist, runner and triathlete in events around the world, including the 2010 Tour de France.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This has been a great season so far Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the response in the countries weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been to has been amazing and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clear now that this was the right choice. Utilizing the massive media attention that the sport receives has been the perfect vehicle to help spread the LIVESTRONG message around the world,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Lance Armstrong. Ã¢â‚¬Å“To be able to compete for an American team comprised of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top cyclists, supported by the best coaches and staff Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be happier to partner with RadioShack, a truly iconic American brand,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Lance Armstrong.
Of course, before they can compete in the 2010 Tour de France, they’ll have to endure some whining from the ASO about how they’ll need to qualify and be invited to compete in Le Tour, but for now we’ll assume it’s a pretty safe bet he’ll be lining up with a plethora of world class riders, likely many of his current teammates…sans Contador. Ã‚Â (So far, no other riders have been confirmed on a roster, and Contador has had ‘no comment’)
Hit ‘more’ to see the video announcement from Armstrong himself…
Being an American team, Armstrong has said he’ll race in the Tour of California next year, foregoing the Giro d’Italia in May.
The team will be managed by Capital Sports & Entertainment (CSE), the same company that manages the Trek/Livestrong U-23 team and the former Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. Ã‚Â They’re based in Austin and also managed Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza.
Here’s my own take on why this is an interesting partnership: Ã‚Â Radio Shack needs a serious image improvement. Ã‚Â I’ve only ever been in one Radio Shack where the employees really knew what they were talking about and able to help…too many of the stores simply have hourly workers that couldn’t tell an Ohm from a Watt or even care to learn what either of those are. Ã‚Â The problem is, what’s you’re alternative? Ã‚Â Other than some locally owned single-store business you may have in your town, name another electronics store that carries the random bits and pieces Radio Shack does… Ã‚Â Seriously, I’d love to know.
The partnership could go one of two ways. Ã‚Â A) It’ll force Radio Shack to up their game in anticipation of increased customer traffic, or B) people will visit once and be turned off by the general lack of knowledgeable sales staff. Ã‚Â Let’s hope for the former, and let’s hope they get some cool hands-free walkie-talkie stuff like the Pro Cycling Teams use but at consumer-friendly prices. Ã‚Â Or, better yet, maybe they’ll start carrying the Garmin GPS cycling computers and have a special cycling electronics section that helps introduce cycling to a whole new audience.
Oh, and it’d be cool if they spread the LiveStrong word, too.