Donald Trump is a person spoken highly in social media. The general consensus of the man in the UK is that he’s not the most popular of people. Simple things like his much younger wife mimicking Michelle Obama’s speech is a tiny thing in a long list of things that easily rub you the wrong (or right) way.
A personal favourite of mine is the Trump Donald website: http://trumpdonald.org/ a great way for us to remember his strange hairstyle and the way that it moves so elegantly in the wind (or from a full blown trumpet blow). One thing is for certain, you can’t deny that the man gets the press and publicity, continually in the public eye in both a good and bad way.
In the late 80s and early 90s Donald Trump became the main sponsor for what was called the Tour de Trump in the US. Something that was aimed to be of a similar elk to Le Tour De France, a discussion on a flight home from watching the Grand tour by CBS reporter John Tesh with the aim of producing something similar. It was won by the likes of Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong during its short iteration of the Tour de Trump before the name change and sponsor change to Tour DuPont.
With Trump, you gain money, with money comes power. Trump's lawyers sent a "cease and desist" letter to the organisers of a Tour de Rump bike race held in Aspen, Colorado. The letter stated: "You are using the name and mark Tour de Rump in connection with an 'inaugural' cycling event. Your use of that name and mark is likely to cause confusion and constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin, all in violation of applicable federal and state laws” The organiser Ron Krajian's lawyer responded by arguing that his race was a local and non-commercial event. No response was received from Trump's lawyers, and the Tour de Rump went ahead. Things like this show the power that he has to cause things to change and happen.
The total prize money on offer for the first event in 1989 was US$250,000, including $50,000 for the winner of the general classification. This, together with the race's place in the international calendar between the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, made it attractive to high-profile riders and teams, but the event did not attract large crowds.
The question now raises; What if Donald Trump sponsored a big stage race today? Say for example the Tour of California. What would be the pros and cons? One of the major pros would be funding. At a time where money is tight enough in cycling with multi million dollar deals for teams needed to support them. We have seen that without Oleg Tinkov, we notice the demise of Tinkoff Saxo, a team with the current world champion, british champion and a multi tour de france winner in it no longer being able to spin the pedals without the funding of one man. Similarly to IAM Cycling, hanging up the helmets for the last time at the end of the season. You could argue that this option, may be something that would appeal to Donald Trump in a first occasion before sponsoring a full multi-stage event in its own, even with the ironic name of Trump as a cycling team.
A pro and a con would be press, Trump, in his own character would bring exposure in both a negative and positive way to cycling through his name, character and personality. It may or may not expose many new viewers to a world of cycling through TV deals, merchandise and the exposure that the man himself seems to gain so easily. Trump's personality and celebrity, as well as the scandals surrounding Trump's marriage and business affairs, could deter from the event and annoyed in its previous iteration it annoyed European riders in the race, something that could easily happen again considering some of the personalities and teams in the Pro Peloton.
Often enough concerns with sponsors can often deter teams from wanting to race and potentially cause some of the ‘big boys’ to not turn up and compete; when in reality it is these guys that the viewers want to see racing, time after time, day after day in a multi stage race. It seems that in the days of the Tour De Trump, when he stepped down as the main sponsor, it caused a greater interest from European riders and teams, these are the ones that the American fans want to see more than any other out there and are, after all the teams that make up a large proportion of the teams racing in Le Tour De France.
Back to the main question, is he just too offensive/ridiculous, or is it a case of all publicity is good publicity? As a cyclist I veer to the angle of him being too offensive/ ridiculous. Cycling is the best individual team sport and a beautiful sport in it’s own right. With all the issues tainted its blood so to speak in the past; bringing along additional offencive and extremist characters could, bring the sport spiraling back down as opposed to continually moving upwards in the positive direction it needs to.
The chaps at Attacus Cycling produced the F**K TRUMP socks, which you can see below.
Trump's crackdown on everything from refugees to health care is set to impact Americans, vulnerable people around the world, and the organisations that work to support them.
A fantastic initiative if you ask me.