Leading cycling accessory brand Scicon have made quite a mark on the pro peloton over recent years, the Italian company building a strong reputation with their eyewear, accessories, luggage and iconic Race Rain Bag.
A sponsor of several WorldTour teams for the past three seasons, Scicon have parted ways with Team Astana after 2 years. The reason? The team’s star sprint signing Mark Cavendish has insisted upon remaining loyal to personal eyewear sponsor Oakley instead of switching to team brand Scicon.
Scicon CEO Heinrich Dannhauser, said it was unfortunate that individual riders can compromise sponsorship agreements.
“It is even more unfortunate that a team would not stand up for what is ethically the right thing to do – honoring the agreement and recognising the significant investments that were made by Scicon,” he said. “We took a strong stance in this case and could not make an exception for one rider and believe all sponsors of professional cycling should take note.”
Vinokourov: ‘No Violations’
Astana’s Alexandr Vinokourov denied the team were at fault saying he declares “with full responsibility that there were no violations of our contractual obligations respect to Scicon and we fully respected this agreement until the moment it has been terminated.”
Astana are now allowing team riders to wear whatever eyewear they want, with another sunglasses company inadvertently mentioned in Vino’s parting comment. “Astana Qazaqstan Team has always 100 per cent fulfilled all sponsorship obligations and will adhere to this policy in the future,” he said.
Scicon have now withdrawn its entire sponsorship agreement with Team Astana which included eyewear, luggage, and bike bags, in the best interest of Scicon and its brand, according to Dannhauser.
“Our brand has grown significantly over the last three seasons. Many of the world’s best riders use Scicon eyewear. This unfortunate situation will not deter us at a time when there are very exciting developments in our business and so much to look forward to,” he concluded.