CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN) — SRAM Inc. on Thursday announced it was ending its relationship with Lance Armstrong, who used the company's components during his comeback to the sport in 2009 and 2010. SRAM also clarified that Armstrong no longer owned any share in the company.
In more fall out from the Armstrong doping scandal, Rabobank, one of the longest standing sponsors in the European peloton, announced Friday that it is leaving the sport because of the scandal. Giant Bicycle, which has been involved with the Rabobank teams for the last four seasons, said it is "re-evaluating" its sports marketing program.
As reported in BRAIN earlier this week, SRAM bought out Armstrong's shares in the company last year in preparation for a public offering. On Thursday the company issued the following statement:
In 2006, SRAM re-entered the road market and quickly rose to the top ranks in the pro-peloton. Securing both amateur and professional athlete and team relationships was key to SRAM’s success.
In 2008, Lance Armstrong decided to come out of retirement and re-enter the 2009 racing scene. Mr. Armstrong connected with SRAM and had a small share of a minority private equity investment in SRAM beginning in September of 2008. SRAM bought out the private equity investment in June of 2011 that included Mr. Armstrong’s interest. Mr. Armstrong has not had an investment in SRAM since that time.
SRAM is officially terminating its product sponsorship agreement with Mr. Armstrong. SRAM is disappointed with the revelations that the USADA report has brought forth.
Moving forward, SRAM will maintain its support of the Livestrong Foundation, as we believe in its purpose and value. Additionally, SRAM will continue to support the Bontrager-Livestrong cycling team.
Giant Bicycle released the following statement Friday:
Giant, a partner with the Rabobank cycling teams since 2009, was disappointed to learn today that the longtime title sponsor is ending its support of professional cycling. Together, Rabobank and Giant had a successful four years developing a new generation of world-class athletes in road, mountain bike and cyclocross competition.
At this time, Giant is evaluating its sports marketing program for 2013 and beyond. The brand has been dedicated to the sport of cycling and has sponsored professional teams over the past two decades. Giant remains committed to working with teams and athletes to develop new products and help inspire cyclists around the world.