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Volume 24 No. 196
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Verizon's Digital Media Entity Oath Drops Sponsorship Of U.S.-Based Pro Cycling Team

Oath, which is Verizon's new combined entity for AOL and Yahoo, in August became a sponsor of the Cannondale-Drapac professional cycling team run by Boulder-based Slipstream Sports, but that deal has "ended before the tie-up really got rolling," according to Greg Avery of the DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL. Oath "isn’t explaining why it parted ways" with the team just three months after unveiling their partnership. The company only said that it is "no longer one of the team sponsors." The company had "hoped to tap into cycling’s international audience by developing behind-the-scenes content surrounding [the] cycling team, which races in the World Tour, cycling’s big league races that attract millions of fans around the world." But six weeks after Oath became a sponsor of the Cannondale-Drapac team, Slipstream Sports "nearly collapsed and looked unlikely to survive to race" in '18. Slipstream Sports Founder & CEO Jonathan Vaughters noted an unidentified additional sponsor "reversed their commitment, leaving the team in debt and a racer payroll it couldn’t afford." Slipstream then conducted an online crowdfunding campaign that "helped convince" Switzerland-based EF Education First to "sponsor the team for a multi-year period in exchange for an majority ownership stake" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/7).