I 100% agree that sponsors should be valued and protected, but the riders must also be considered. IMO, things like eyewear and shoes should be decided by the rider. Certainly have an equipment agreement with a company for riders who don't have a sponsorship, or a specific need (which will be most).
In this case, Cav has been with O since 2008, and they make specific models for him, and special colors of existing models. He also wears their optics off of the bike.
From Scicon's standpoint I can see them wanting Cav to have their glasses on if/when he wins another TdF stage, but would having him at least wearing their backpack be better than nothing? They also have a guy who could be racing for yellow so...
Some questions I still have: does Scicon make an acceptable RX for Cav (their website does not show their cycling glasses available with RX, but they have a spot RX (think small goggles), and a casual line of RX)? Was there an agreement for Cav to continue with O? Did anybody really expect Cav to end a 15+ year relationship with O?
Bad deal for sure.
Could not disagree more.. been riding Specialized,new team uses BH..you ride team bike.. had Bell on your head for decades, new team uses Rudy Project ..team clothing is Craft..and on and on and on and been a dirty secret in all kinds of racing. Equipment that is made unbranded, or equipment that is labeled w the current sponsors brand and to the untrained eye is authentic.
Riders have been using and winning on falsely flagged bikes and other equipment for decades. Standard stuff.
Cavendish has a long successful relationship with Oakley. Surely profitable for all involved. When sponsors try to equip teams they often come up short because of lack of products in their line.. Campy finds itself odd man out because of limited products. Oakley makes everything and anything.. Look to the NFL and pro hockey!!
Cavendish and Astana had an obvious decision to make at signing.. Cav,here's our bike,group,wheel,seat,cockpit,head end,tire,helmet, clothing sponsors.
Is there a contractual conflict? If yes what is the work around.
Cycling News and others often get up close in tech reporting and show close up photos of bikes and most often downplay that components are marked differently or a team is using something outside the sponsors stable.
There was a contract between Astana and Scicon for riders when using eyewear that it would be from their line of products, unless some special circumstances like unavailable in prescription or TT specific eye shields that the company doesn't make. Everyone knew the lay of the land,contracts were signed, products and money changed hands.
Cavendish late to the party thought that he would be an exception, because he is exceptional.. He and Astana are 100% wrong.. If there were a contract exception approved by Scicon it would be in the publics face.. As it is now.. Astana has changed the original sponsorship agreement and according to the eyewear maker are violated the contract.
If I was an executive at Scicon would have went directly to the bank as soon as Cavendish was signed to ensure the a press budget was available asap..get the best photographer in the world snapping photos of Cav using team issued products.. don't know the budget spike, but guarantee there was one at Wilier and they are accumulating as many flattering photos featuring Cavendish aboard their bicycles.
There are probably hundreds of equipment deals in the peloton that are not Michael Jordan big..but you know that Sagan, Roglic, and all household names have stand alone endorsement deals.. Again standard.. This says something about Astana not so much Cavendish, he has been in the game long enough to know this would be a problem, his agent showed Astana his existing endorsement obligations, along with salary and drag alongs..trainer, coach,mechanics, guaranteed starts at his favorite races,ect.
Someone at Astana told team Cavendish not to worry about it, winked, and everyone went on their way.
Now you can guess at the phone calls.. Scicon marketing rep to Astana " wtf saw Cav at the race XYZ, he was wearing Oakley!!! " Astana " Oh I didn't notice, I will bring it up immediately, don't worry, I will call you back "
and now they are here..
Funny that as an old man going to a lesser team, Sagan says, sure I will come, need this bike, these components, my brother, my trainer, Daniel Oss and additional demands.. Cavendish is going full Van Halen and asking to get 20 pounds of M&MS w all brown ones be removed..
What can really happen? Astana doesn't have the huevos to tell him what to do.. He is going to wear what he wants period. Just guessing but Astana starting this many legal fires says that they are done.