In a recent post I discussed a few ideas of how to make cycling more popular in the United States. The wave of young cyclists in the sport is phenomenal. They are strong riders, not limited to just athletic ability. They have different personalities that appeal to various fans and the flash of what attracts a young fan base.
Here is the problem: ESPN. I mentioned this before, but if you click on the link, take a look at their page. Under the news available by sport, click on more and notice the list of sports available. Really? Every sport under the sun is included, except for cycling. I am shocked that darts isn’t listed. Recently, I have sent messages to ESPN on their contact page to request more coverage. Is it possible to pass the word and get more fans to do the same? Sure, I hate to be at the mercy of the press, but the coverage would do the trick. The money is there to be made. Millions of euros, dollars, and pounds have been spent on the merchandise and television coverage of this sport, so the real “bottom line” is covered.
In late 2011, ESPN played this commercial that featured Lance. The frenzy was building. People were starting to notice. The fall of the American crushed this. ESPN ran. Once bitten twice shy? As little as two years ago, Oakley ran a commercial that ended with embarrassment. After the disaster and embarrassment of those on the Armstrong bandwagon, sponsors bailed and the sport has a bitter taste in the mouth of those who were tasting cycling for the first time.
Now, instead of shying away from the embarrassment, the media needs to shift focus to the good guys. Want to stay patriotic? ESPN could do feature stories on Taylor Phinney, David Zabriskie, Tyler Farrar, Thomas Danielson, Jeremy Powers, or maybe the dogged determination of Chris Horner. And who in their right mind wouldn’t gravitate to some of the female pro cyclists? And what a story could be spun about women who are strong and tenacious, not to mention beautiful!
The push for more coverage has got to come from more than a nobody blogger from nowhere. Even contacting USA Cycling and giving some suggestions and opinions and ideas could be a good start. Drugs, pride, and bad coverage have placed a dagger in the heart of cycling. It is up to the nobody bloggers and lovers of cycling to help revive the sport in the United States.