Thursday, March 13, 2008

Peeing in the Pool

There is always somebody, you know the double chip dipper, the stealth farter or the guy at the party who pees in the pool who ruins the party for everyone. You know they know they shouldn't do it, but what the heck, they do it anyway.

Now this isn't really about urine. Its about sponsors and cycling. You know, those swell people and companies that give us money and products so that we can do what we love to do. I love sponsors. I love our sponsors Rostello/Fiorucci Foods (Italian meats and ham... yum), Ritchey, Advanced Ortho, Endorphin Fitness, Fast Signs, Contes... They are the best. I also love your sponsors. And being a savvy person, I have a tendency to write to them or tell them when I buy something that I bought it because they sponsor YOU!

I buy Colavita Olive Oil. I buy Cooking Light Magazine. And I've told them that I do it because they sponsor kick ass Tina Pic. (and they've all written back to me to thank me, including Tina Pic. ) I'd buy Cheerwine if I could find it in Richmond. And I buy Natures Path bars and cereal.

So when a team mate of mine sent me the following letter from CyclingNews about Richmond Pro Racing, I was stunned. I hope you will be, too...

"Pro" Cycling Teams
After reading today's news I just had to write in to ask.... what's the deal with everyone slapping the "pro" tag on their team name? (See "Richmond gets new pro cycling team") I believe that there are only 17 UCI teams registered in the USA. These teams are not "Pro".
In fact they are by definition, according to both the UCI and USA Cycling web page, amateur teams. I believe these teams are defrauding the public and their sponsors. After reading today's news I felt compelled to visit the team's website. A quick call to the marketing department at the teams main sponsor confirmed my theory... they didn't even realize what "product" they had been sold. They were shocked to here they were not actually sponsoring a "professional team".
I have no doubt that these teams have good riders but adding the letters pro does not make you a professional team. Someone needs to put their foot down on this before we have Cat 5 Pro Team's, Junior Pro Team's, Masters Pro's Teams.
Chris Nelson Richmond, VA, USAFriday, March 7, 2008

This is what I wrote back to CyclingNews:

Wow! Way to go Chris… you took it upon yourself to call the marketing person to tell them how they had been sold a bill of goods. Um, did you perchance give Craig a call first since he lives in Richmond, and can be seen everywhere? Do you know – really know what their deal is? Did you care? Wow, you da man.

As the women’s team manager of another one of the small teams in the Richmond area I can tell you that getting sponsors is hard. Loosing them is easy. Sponsors like it when people tell them nice things. They really hate it when someone calls them to jack them up for being good guys and supporting the sport we claim to love.

But you da man. Funny though, when I tried to look you up on USA cycling you don’t have a license number. So then I browsed the Virginia cycling BAR results, and surprise, didn’t find you there, either. Seems to me that a big man, who knows what a pro team is, would have some kind of results. Right?

Yeah, Richmond Pro Cycling… a really cool bunch of Cat 1,2 guys who do this for a living, but like MOST pro riders in the world, they work second jobs to support themselves. The program is progressive offering both housing and medical. Still not up to your standards? Pro does not mean Discovery Channel. If it did, well there would be what two pro teams in the US?

Thanks Chris for making cycling in my region better.

Karen Hanson
Womens Team Manager
Rostello Presented by Fiorucci

I can't imagine doing something like that that harms the sport as a whole. I think this guy just decided to stick pins in someone. I don't know why. I also think that he went to Team Natures Path's website... you know the AMATEUR team. Richmond Pro Cycling has Natures Path as a sponsor, but they are not Team Natures Path. But what the diff... why would you do your best to try to turn off a sponsor for cycling. A sponsor for anyone?

The way I figure it, any sponsor in this sport helps the sport as a whole. My sponsor, your sponsor. And - the more sponsors there are in a sport, the better and more lucrative the sport will be. The more cycling teams there are, the better the sport will be. And I particularly want Richmond Pro Cycling and Team Natures Path here in my fair city because the more cyclists there are, the more opportunities for cycling there will be. Not to mention that teams put on races, and I'm getting tired of driving to the beach all the time!

So if you haven't hugged a sponsor today. Do it for the sport. There's no telling what kind of jerks are calling them up giving them the negs.


Kyle Jones said...

Wow what a dick. Before I read your rebuttal to Mr. Nelson I went looking for his history also on usa cycling. Haha.

I have a guy at my work who said he was a pro snowboarder a few years ago. I asked if it was categorized like cycling and he said nope. It is if you are sponsored you are considered pro. Doesn't Usa Cycling make the distinction if you are pro not some utz on the street.

Karen said...

USA cycling basically says that if you are on a UCI pro team you are a pro. Period. If you aren't I guess you aren't a pro. Even if you are paid a salary, with bennies etc... Funny thats not what Websters dictionary says. Its splitting hairs. Craig runs a great program. I applaud him and just hate people who try to rip others down.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Sponsors are so hard to come buy right now that everyone needs to give them a big hug and sprinkle love dust on them to thank them for the support they give the sport we love so much. However.. I do totally disagree however with using the pro tag if your not. (They are not.) I don't understand why craig didn't just register the team with the UCI if he wanted to be pro. However Mr. Nelson calling NP is just wrong on so many levels. I hope I never meet him on a ride.......

Anonymous said...

I am Craig's mom and I REALLY resent Mr. Nelson's remarks. He has apparently never seen Craig in action. He is constantly working to obtain sponsors and he is dedicated to both his sport and his team. I can't understand why anyone would want to be so spiteful and ruin things for him and his teammates, es[ecially when he knows NOTHING about them.