News

CCC Team sponsorship contract under threat

Team's Polish backers suffer severe losses due to coronavirus pandemic, considers halting ongoing sponsorship contracts.

CCC Team has been hit with news that it may lose its title sponsor next season.

Polish shoemaking giant CCC has been backing the team that plays home to riders such as Greg van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin since 2019 in a deal due to last through the 2020-2021 season. However, with the financial kickback of the coronavirus crisis hitting hard, the CCC group has suffered a steep profit downturn and is likely to put a stop on all sponsorship activities next year.

Earlier this month, the team confirmed that it was to suspend all activity due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, CCC boss Dariusz Miłek had warned that both the men’s team and CCC-Liv could be “reduced or closed.”

Reports Friday from bankier.pl have revealed that the CCC group suffered a 340 million PLN (81 million USD) loss in Q1 2020 and plummeting share price. As a result, the business was undertaking a severe cost-cutting exercise that includes a halting of sponsorship contracts.

There was no indication of whether the CCC group would be able to honor its contracts for the current season, though according to wielerflits.com, CCC-Liv has been fully paid to this date. The women’s team, which includes stars such as Marianne Vos and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, operates as a separate entity from the men’s squad.

“We have our own sponsorship agreements with CCC,” a CCC-Liv spokesperson said. “To this day, all sponsors have fulfilled their obligations. We are talking to CCC and the sponsors to see how we can best anticipate developments that may come our way.”

The news will come as a further blow for CCC Team, which has already suspended support staff contracts and slashed rider pay. The team is not the only WorldTour outfit to take drastic action as teams lose revenues from race appearances and sponsors cut back on budgets. A swathe of other teams, including most recently EF Pro Cycling, has cut back rider pay as it looks to weather the impact of the early-season racing stop.

“The decision to make widespread cuts has been a painful process, and one that we did not foresee even a matter of weeks ago,” CCC Team president Jim Ochowicz said earlier this month. “We will do everything possible to keep the team going during this period, and hope to bounce back once the COVID-19 situation improves.”