The doping scandals that erupted at the latest Tour de France have prompted several sponsors to question their involvement in the event. Among the sporting goods suppliers, Adidas spends about €500,000 per year on sponsorship of professional cycling and it was endorsed by the T-Mobile team at the Tour de France, but it stated that it would reconsider this financial support after several leading contenders left the competition in disgrace. They include Michael Rasmussen of Denmark, who was favored to win but was removed by his Rabobank team for violating internal rules; and Alexander Vinokourov of Kazahkstan, another favorite, who was thrown out after the organizers found foreign cells in his blood. Nike has been the official jersey sponsor of the Tour de France race for many years, making the yellow and polka dot jerseys, among others. It also sponsors the Discovery Channel team and individual racers. For the time being, Nike indicates that the doping scandals will not alter its commitments.


CORRECTION : We plan to print a new version of our annual chart of the European retail market following the remarks of some of our subscribers. The figures given on July 6 (issue #18-24) for August 6, 2007

Intersport members in the UK were obviously wrong, but we are still trying to determine the correct ones. The figures that we used for Sport 2000 in Germany were overstated as they included sales not generated in Germany, among other elements. The figures that we gave were partly based on central settlements in behalf of retailers in Switzerland and France and on those of BICO, the specialist buying group for cycling products, among other distorting items. Sport 2000 Germany itself indicates that, on the basis of the annual accounts of its some of its members, their total retail sales after VAT in Germany should have been in the region of €1.12 billion, or €1.22 billion including the sports footwear processed by Sport 2000 to be sold in the shoe shops affiliated with its parent company, Ariston-Nord-West-Ring. Using for Sport 2000 the same calculation factors used by Intersport in Germany (81 percent of buy-in through central settlements and a retail margin of 2.2 after VAT), retail sales of all Sport 2000 stores in Germany should have reached an estimated €948 million, including VAT