Does Anybody Else Think It Was Incongruous For U.S. Post Office To Spend $31 Million Sponsoring Lance Armstrong.


Anura Guruge

I am, and have always been, a BIG fan of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). I use them whenever I can.

I do appreciate that they do have to promote and advertise SOME of their ‘premium’ services like ‘Priority Mail‘. No question about that.

But, did they really need to spend $31 million, albeit amortized over multiple years, promoting Armstrong — especially in the Tour de France.

Yes, I appreciate that a LOT of Americans watched the ‘Tour’ when Lance was winning. But, that said, the ‘Tour’ is still mainly an European sporting events. Europeans are NOT the target market for the USPS! It is not like you can go to a French post office and say: ‘I want this letter to the U.S. sent via USPS‘.

The other thing is that, whether they admit to it or not, the USPS is a monopoly when it comes to standard mail. Of course, FedEx, UPS and DHL will deliver letters, but not for (what is it now) 4x cents. I get that Armstrong represented: speed, overcoming adversity and winning. BUT, for the USPS’ real target market wouldn’t they have been better off going with NASCAR?

So, this whole notion that they spent $31 Million with Armstrong and his franchise doesn’t sit well with me. I also appreciate that $30M to the USPS is mere bagatelle, chump change — not even a rounding error in the amount of money they handle a day. But, a bit of discretion might not have been a bad thing.

How and what large enterprises like the USPS decide to sponsor always intrigues me — given that I was involved in corporate marketing for many decades. Was this pushed through by one senior executive or did they spend months having numerous high-level meetings.

Just one of many things that get me thinking.

Who are they sponsoring now? I haven’t checked. I like their Priority Mail service. Use it often, though it seems to go up in leaps and bounds every few weeks. I remember it was $4.xx for a box. I think it is $5.xx now.

1 thought on “Does Anybody Else Think It Was Incongruous For U.S. Post Office To Spend $31 Million Sponsoring Lance Armstrong.

  1. Wayne Clark

    Actually, back when the USPS was sponsoring Lance, I thought it was a great way for one of the government organizations that I use to show their support for a sport that many Americans follow closely. I was quite proud of the tour de force that American riders and enterprises were showing in Europe at the time.

    I even went to Paris to watch Lance’s 7th and final win on the Champs Elysees in 2005. However, at that time his team was sponsored by the Discovery Channel and not USPS. Ancient history … some pre-Tea Party troglodyte had been whining since the late 1990s about using “taxpayer dollars” to sponsor a bicycling team. They finally capitulated and withdrew their sponsorship just to shut him up.

    Also, I would not underestimate the number and relative economic impact of cyclists in America. There are a lot more of us out there than non-cyclists might think. Every year, there are more bicycles sold than automobiles.

    Lastly, I am absolutely fine with the federal government joining the Floyd Landis lawsuit and going after Lance. However, so that they don’t show excessive bias against only one team member (i.e. Lance), they should also include the other 10-20 cyclists who doped on the US Postal team. They all benefited from the USPS sponsorship and should pay their fair share in penalties if the case has merit (which, by the way, I doubt that it does).

    FYI, I am not a Lance sycophant. I never liked the aggressive, arrogant persona of cycling that he represented.


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