Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Kona loses Ford sponsorship

Citing internal changes and pressures from the struggling U.S. economy, Kona announced Wednesday that the Ford Motor Company had opted not to renew sponsorship of its mountain bike team for the 2002 season. The impact of this move will be much greater on the British faction of the Kona team than its Canadian counterpart. "We didn’t really get much support from Ford Canada," said Kona cross-country rider Geoff Kabush. "The only reason we were grouped together was that so we could have a World Cup team." Kabush added that he would be back with Kona in 2002, but didn’t know what they fate of

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By VeloNews Interactive

Citing internal changes and pressures from the struggling U.S. economy, Kona announced Wednesday that the Ford Motor Company had opted not to renew sponsorship of its mountain bike team for the 2002 season. The impact of this move will be much greater on the British faction of the Kona team than its Canadian counterpart.

“We didn’t really get much support from Ford Canada,” said Kona cross-country rider Geoff Kabush. “The only reason we were grouped together was that so we could have a World Cup team.”

Kabush added that he would be back with Kona in 2002, but didn’t know what they fate of his UK counterparts would be. Last year, the Kona squad was split in two with Kabush, Peter Wedge and Ann Grande leading the North American team, while downhillers Scott Beaumont and Tracy Moseley headed up the UK contingent.

Despite the loss in sponsorship, Kona’s British distributor Paligap has expressed its support, vowing to make sure Kona has a racing team and be at the races to support Kona customers.

“We feel that Kona having a race presence not only in the UK but at World Cup events is very important in building the brand recognition,” said Paligap director David Lane. “We are currently negotiating with other out of industry sponsors to take over the title sponsorship.”

Ford is currently going through a tumultuous time stemming from the resignation of CEO Jack Nasser and the fallout from the September 11th terrorist attacks. This has meant massive budget cuts in many areas, including outside sponsorship.