The inevitable affects of the COVID-19 pandemic might spell doom for WorldTour squad CCC’s title sponsorship. The Polish footwear company’s founder Dariusz Miłek recently told website Rowery that the team faces huge cuts to its budget or even an end to sponsorship a year early. CCC funded a Pro Continental and Continental team before taking over BMC last season. Canadian legend Steve Bauer joined the team this season as sporting director.
The company’s sales and share prices have fallen during the pandemic. Miłek told Rowery, “We are now fighting for our company. It would be immoral to reduce our number of employees while maintaining sponsorship of cycling teams.”
Later in a press conference Miłek expanded, ““We have a contract that obliges us for this year and for the next, but the company must and wants to withdraw from it at a low cost because the cyclists simply aren’t providing promotional services. We don’t have 265 racing days at Eurosport, the Giro d’Italia’s been cancelled, the Tour de France is also looking uncertain. So it makes no sense to invest in this sponsorship since we have no benefit from it.”
CCC’s star Greg Van Avermaet has said that the team is open to salary reduction, something that WorldTour teams Bahrain-Merida and Lotto-Soudal have planned. It’s looking more likely that some professional teams–even those at the highest level–might not survive the cancellation of at least three months of the 2020 season and their trickle-down effects.
As of April 3, the Tour de France still hasn’t been cancelled and stands as the next race on the WorldTour calendar.