SBD/Issue 222/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Last Ride: Landis’ Phonak Team To Shut Down At End Of Year

Switzerland-based hearing aid firm Phonak will shut down its cycling team at the end of the year, citing “continuing doping issues within the sport and an inability to sell the team,” according to Erica Bulman of the AP. Phonak, which sponsored the team of Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, was to be replaced at the end of the year by iShares, but Phonak Chair Andy Rihs said the deal was cancelled. Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone after Stage 17 of the Tour, and Rihs said, “I am deeply disappointed because what he did was what led to this decision.” Bulman notes several other riders for the team “have been involved in drug cases since it was launched seven seasons ago,” including U.S. Gold Medalist Tyler Hamilton. Rihs said that he “tried to sell the team for [$0.80], or one Swiss franc” (AP, 8/15).

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