Cycling: Sky ends sponsorship of ‘Team Sky’

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Satellite broadcaster Sky has announced that it will end its sponsorship of ‘Team Sky’ at the end of next year.

This follows the recent £30 billion takeover of SKY by US media giant COMCAST.

Team Sky was launched in 2010 and since then has achieved 322 victories, including 8 grand tour successes, including 3 Tour de France wins.

At the same time, Team Sky has not been without controversies relating to Tour de France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins, who has retired as a rider and now left Team Sky to set up his own racing team, and Chris Froome.

In particular, a recent UK Parliamentary Select Committee Report concluded that Team Sky had “crossed the ethical line” regarding the use of medical exemptions for prohibited drugs.

COMCAST has stated their decision has not been influenced by these controversies, which have clearly tarnished the Team Sky reputation, but that all COMCAST commercial partnerships are under review following the takeover.

A spokesman for Team Sky has commented:

“We aren’t finished yet by any means. There is another exciting year of racing ahead of us and we will be doing everything we can to deliver more Team Sky success in 2019.”

All well and good, but it will be interesting to see what the longer-term future holds for Team Sky!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’