Tuesday, July 30, 2002

World's Worst Marketing Campaign

The Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting events in Europe but passes largely unnoticed in the United States even though an American currently dominates the sport.

Lance Armstrong rode to his four victories wearing a hat and shirt emblazoned with the logos of his sponsors. Nothing unusual there. The event is also one of the most expensive sponsorship opportunities in the sporting world with companies spending millions of euros to have their name associated with the athletes.

So who is Armstrong's sponsor? The United States Postal Service.

If you think about it that makes about as much sense as the Bank of England sponsoring Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR team at the Talladaga 400.

Why advertise to millions of people who can't possibly use your service? And for that matter, why advertise at all if you are a government run monopoly? Is anyone going to buy more stamps, write more letters, or read more mail just because the USPS has sponsored Lance Armstrong?

And why is an organization that is hemorrhaging money squandering its scarce resources on nonsensical marketing campaigns?

Hmmm . . . I wonder if anyone from the Post Office got to attend the victory parties in Paris?

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