Amgen and EPO at the Tour of California.
I just wanted to take a little moment to clear something up, relative to the Amgen relationship with the Tour of California.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I do personally believe that this is an odd and cumbersome sponsorship relationship. I applaud Amgen for making the effort to put more of their money into cycling. As has been mentioned a lot recently, they have sponsored a very successful club and racing team for years here in Southern California. I have raced with these folks for years and see them both on the road and track regularly.
In my post, I did not intend to insult anybody at Amgen and see that they have paid a few visits to this site since my post. Amgen produces many other drugs critical in treatment and recovery in fighting cancer and other diseases. I have a very close and personal relationship with cancer, that I will not go into here, so I have a lot of respect for what Amgen has done.
My whole point was that from a strictly marketing standpoint, it is a strikingly awkward combination; Amgen and a major bike race. Just on the surface, it smells funny. I wouldn't begin to try and discourage any company from getting involved in cycling sponsorship. The sport needs the money to grow. Amgen does need to be thanked for what they are doing. Speaking solely as a "marketing guy", it is just a tough sell for me. Maybe it would have made more sense to me if the race was being sponsored by a specific drug/ treatment produced by Amgen. That would at least draw attention away from the relationship to EPO.
So to all of those out there who think I've been unfair to Amgen, I apologize for giving the impression I was simply picking on Amgen. To Amgen, I'd like to say thank you for the many wonderful drugs you have brought to the market that help so many people around the world. Thank you too for putting your money into cycling. I hope it pays off for you and I hope the sport of cycling continues to grow in this country... and God help us all if an athlete tests positive for EPO during the Tour of California.
Posted by Tim Jackson at 4:18 PM