Team Ineos’ general manager Dave Brailsford has told, “The Times Cycling teams’ sponsorship-based model could lead to their financial ruin as businesses struggle to deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sponsors could trim the budget as the racing events cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses invest in cycling teams for broad television exposure.
Brailsford said,”Ineos are backed by English billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and are better prepared to withstand the blow of the financial crunch, but many others do not have the same luxury and could go under if sponsors decide to pull their funding.”
He said in an interview that, “The very nature of the whole cycling model being 100% based on sponsorship means you are only really as strong as your sponsors’ business.”
“A lot of businesses in general are going to suffer. So it is fragile.”
“Teams to go under? I really hope not, my heart says that would be terrible. But logically you would have to think there are going to be some people here more vulnerable… if their sponsors’ businesses don’t start getting up and running again.
He added, “Something’s going to have to give and they’re not going to give up their core business for a cycling team.”
As the cases of coronavirus is increasing day by day, Brailsford and Ratcliffe initiated to provide million bottles of hand sanitizers for free to the hospitals in France, Germany, Belgium and United Kingdom.
Sanitizers are transporting to the hospitals by vans, which usually transport bikes. Tour de France winner Chris Froome and other Ineos riders have been carrying bottles of sanitizers to hospitals in regions worst affected by the outbreak, which has infected more than two million people and killed almost 145,000.
Last year, Brailsford had a surgery for prostate cancer. He said, “the experience enabled him to relate to the current crisis.”
“The NHS and the doctors and nurses are the stars and everybody else is just watching them. They’re getting all the accolades and rightly so,” said by Brailsford.