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Breaking news: Team Radio Shack to be Lance Armstrong's new team
- VIDEO: Lance Armstrong announces Team Radio Shack.
- Lance Armstrong's Team Radio Shack website now active.
- Team Radio Shack is now on Twitter.
- Team RadioShack press release.
- Announcement expected after Time Trial, possibly around 18:00 CET (12pm U.S. Eastern)
- Below, how we broke this story yesterday.
- More when available -
Speculation is rampant regarding the name of the new American sponsor that Lance Armstrong has found for his team in 2010 and beyond. Armstrong is expected to announce the new partnership tomorrow, Thursday.
As we reported 9 days ago, Armstrong seemed to rule out the long-rumored Nike and Livestrong as title sponsors on French television, though they no doubt will be team partners in some capacity.
Among the other companies or brands thrown into the mix in the online world, some obviously in jest, some wishful thinking and with absolutely no supporting evidence: Oracle, Google, Apple, Twitter, FRS, Zappos/Amazon, Nutella. (I vote for Nutella!)
Now we can add another one to the list: Radio Shack
ESPN's Bonnie Ford posted the following message via Twitter late today France time (she is on site covering the Tour):
"Two words: Radio Shack."
Now, for all we know Bonnie Ford needed an adapter for her cell phone and found one at a Radio Shack in France and just wanted to give them a shout out. But consider this: Radio Shack headquarters are in Armstrong's home state of Texas (Fort Worth). They are a technology company, which is consistent with most of the other unsubstantiated rumors out there. They have retail stores in North America, Central America, South America, Europe and Africa. (Tandy/Radio Shack stores have bailed me out on a few occasions in France.) Radio Shack is a sponsor in NASCAR racing. Radio Shack has also been the official consumer electronics retailer of the National Basketball Association. So there is already an established relationship with professional sports.
And with the recent demise of Circuit City, perhaps Radio Shack wants to take a new run at challenging Best Buy and sees sponsoring Lance Armstrong's team as a start.
In a sport, cycling, that is increasingly relying on technology, and where the riders love their gadgets, from mp3 players to advanced cell phones, Radio Shack seems like a natural choice for a cycling team's title sponsor.
And perhaps an extra-sportive reason that Johan Bruyneel led the effort last week at the Tour de France to oppose the banning of race radios?
If Radio Shack is the team sponsor, Lance Armstrong fans will probably invade retail outlets within hours of an announcement.
Oracle, Radio Shack, Nutella. We should know tomorrow.
Update: Someone tweeted me their vote for Dell and a couple of people have tweeted the following link:
Update: It is definitely looking now like it is going to be:
Team Radio Shack
The domain, teamradioshack.com, is registered to CSE Cycling of Austin, Texas. This is Armstrong agent Bill Stapleton's sports agency that previously registered thepaceline.com. (Thanks Chris Capellini for this final bit of info that ties it all together!)
Latest Update: We note that the teamradioshack.com domain (which is not yet active) was registered just a couple of days ago, on July 20. The domain is currently reserved for just two years, to 2011.