Colombia's Ecopetrol Linked To Team Sky As Possible Financier
Rumors of Team Sky being backed by Colombian investment "have been pushed further" as reports suggest major state-backed oil company Ecopetrol "will step in as the main financier," according to Joe Robinson of CYCLIST. Gazzetta dello Sport reported the oil company will come on board as a major sponsor, although it is "unlikely to cover" the team's £34M ($43.6M) annual budget, "with the option for secondary sponsors." Ecopetrol, with estimated revenue of $27B, would "certainly have the capital to cover the demands of Dave Brailsford's team." The company is ranked 346th on the Fortune Global 500 list and is "one of the world's 25 biggest petroleum exporters." Colombian newspaper El Espectador reported Brailsford traveled to Colombia ahead of the ongoing Tour Colombia stage race to "explore potential sponsorship" with Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez and director of Coldeportes -- the government department for sport and recreation -- Ernesto Lucena. The meeting "is believed to have been facilitated" by Colombian former Team Sky rider Rigoberto Urán. Team Sky was recently on a "public relations offensive in Colombia" ahead of the Tour Colombia (CYCLIST, 2/14).