GreenEDGE Cycling Team Announced New Sponsor
Orica comes aboard as a new title sponsor, but they arrive with some baggage.
cause lung, intestinal and stomach cancer.
And there's more. Orica is also accused of storing ammonium nitrate in a ship off the coast of New South Wales in what the Maritime Union of Australia called "dangerously sub-standard."
Yes, this is getting awkward - Orica is sponsoring an activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle. But looking at some of Orica's recent activities they don't seem to be too concerned with the health of people. But let's face it. Ever see a Grand Tour in person? There is a long line of promotion vehicles before the riders flash by. Behind them are numerous team cars, official's vehicles, motorcycles and press. Not exactly a small carbon footprint for a healthy event.
So what does Orica hope to gain from sponsoring a cycling team? For one an opportunity to have their company associated with world class athletes involved in a healthy activity. This might help their image as a company that isn't honest about toxic leaks or wants to ship their toxic mess to some other country.
Where do teams or events draw the line when it comes to sponsors? Is Orica-GreenEDGE a good match for cycling? Whatever your personal thoughts are about Orica, the company, needs to put aside. They have the right to try putting a healthier image in front of people.
Look at the upcoming Amgen Tour of California. Amgen is a huge pharmaceutical company that manufactures EPO - a drug that a pro cyclist would receive a two year ban if caught with. Yet, here is Amgen as the title sponsor of a bike race. EPO has a legitimate use in the medical field, notably in fighting cancer. Shouldn't they be allowed to promote that?
Of course I know companies like Amgen aren't doing it for altruistic reasons - they want to make boat loads of money and they sure as hell aren't handing out free EPO. Orica, Amgen, whomever, want their name associated with an activity that will put them in a good light. Sometimes it's painfully ironic like Orica and other times it's symbiotic like a bike company. It's up to us the fans of the sport to decide how offended we are about cheering for a team that has the title of a company we don't believe in across their chest.