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SBD Global/November 9, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Oakley To Partner With Tour De France After Dropping Armstrong

Luxottica Group SpA’s Oakley eyewear company will "become a partner of the Tour de France bicycle race next year after ending a long relationship with Lance Armstrong," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. CEO Colin Baden said that Oakley "did not receive a discount because of the doping scandal" centering around Armstrong. Oakley’s move comes at a time when sponsors such as the Netherlands’ biggest mortgage lender, Rabobank Groep, are "shunning cycling because of the doping scandal." Baden: “I would like to see that the sport be what it once was. It’s unfortunate what we’ve all experienced. It would be really nice to get back to the place where it’s admired, respected and understood.” Oakley had been working on the sponsorship deal for 12 months. Baden said that the decision to partner with the Tour de France for the first time "deepens the company’s relationship" with a sport where he said the Oakley brand “was discovered” (BLOOMBERG, 11/8).
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