Oakley to Sponsor Tour de France Following Armstrong Doping Scandal

November 8, 2012

The Lance Armstrong doping scandal has not deterred Oakley from cycling sponsorship after the eyewear company announced they will become a partner of the Tour de France bicycle race next year

Chief Executive Officer Colin Baden said in an interview in London yesterday that Oakley did not receive a discount because of the doping scandal centering around Armstrong, buy who was stripped of his Tour titles for 1999-2005. Oakley dropped their Armstrong sponsorship following the revelations. 

Oakley’s move comes at a time when sponsors such as the Netherlands’ biggest mortgage lender, Rabobank Groep, are shunning cycling because of the doping scandal.

“I would like to see that the sport be what it once was,” Baden said, without giving details of the sponsorship deal. “It’s unfortunate what we’ve all experienced. It would be really nice to get back to the place where it’s admired, respected and understood.”

Oakley had been working on the sponsorship deal for 12 months. Baden said the decision to partner the Tour for the first time deepens the company’s relationship with a sport where he says the Oakley brand “was discovered.”

Oakley signed its first cycling endorsement with Greg LeMond, the American who won three Tour de France crowns in 1986 to 1990. Since then, it has endorsed top riders including 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins of Britain.