USPS, U.S. Cycling Still Talking Sponsorship Deal

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Responding to a report in Advertising Age this week that the U.S. Postal Service plans to drop its sponsorship of Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Pro Cycling Team, an official with the sports marketing agency that owns and manages the team said the two sides are still negotiating to extend the sponsorship deal, which expires at the end of the year.

"We are continuing to talk to the people that are responsible for the contract inside the postal service," said Dan Osipow, the general manager and director of operations of Tailwind Sports Corp., San Franciso, CA, the sports marketing agency that owns and manages the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. "We are negotiating with them, and we are talking about extensions and futures."

A USPS spokeswoman also said that the postal service and Tailwind were still in negotiations.

According to the Ad Age article, Armstrong's agent -- Bill Stapleton, principal at Capital Sports & Entertainment Inc., Austin, TX -- has "been in talks with potential replacements in anticipation" that the postal service won't renew its contract.

Stapleton hoped to have a replacement sponsor in place before the Tour de France starts July 3, Ad Age reported.

Osipow confirmed that "we are talking to others. It would be completely irresponsible in any sponsorship situation to put all your eggs in one basket. If and when the day came when the postal service decided not to renew, if that is indeed the case, then we need to think about moving on to another company."

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