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View Full Version : BMC's deep pockets


torquer
08-19-2011, 10:56 AM
Last year they signed Evans and Ballan.
This year, Thor and (today's headline) Phillippe Gilbert.
I'll let others comment on the potential for soap opera ego conflicts, but I want to know who's coming up with this payroll? BMC is a third-tier brand over here, but is it a bigger player in Europe? I know they have the same owner as former ProTour team sponsor Phonak, but that association may be seen as damaged goods (thanks again, Floyd!)
So is there another sponsor on the immediate horizon? Or are these signings loss-leader investments, with anticipated results next season opening the door for other sponsors?

ultraman6970
08-19-2011, 11:41 AM
In my opinion they are not a 3rd tear brand, by the opposite their bikes are really hard to get because are always sold out, doubt they produce astronomical numbers of bikes as trek or specialized do. Neither have that many models as other brands.

Personally their costumer service rocks big time that is way more than u can expect from anybody else in the market, their warranty now is being extended to 5 years for 2010 products on, that is way more than colnago or pinarello gives you. So if you got your bike last year now your warranty is for 5 years instead of 3.

All their line is race worth, even the lower models are 100% raceable, thing that u really cant do with a low end road trek for example. Their prices are ok too, i mean for what they sell and quality they are offering their prices are ok. Many people dont like them because of their designs but as with other brands u have to ride them 1st to figure it out what is to be in BMC;s users club u know. BMC has been in the market for many many years, that the brand showed up in the US maybe 5+ years ago doesnt mean they are newcomers, their bikes have been around easy for more than 20 years ago, the hard thing is to get one of their steel ones, so far i have seen only one at ebay ever.

They do have money, the company is pretty good, I agree, i dont understand why they want gilbert but maybe the philosophy of the team is different too. In many teams u have one star and the other members have to suck it up and only help, now with gilbert the team gets super strong and probably they are focusing in wining races, not into riders stardoom, if thats the case the team will be super dangerous during the season because now they have at least 6 cards to win races. Other teams have only 1. Thats an advantage, as for the TDF and big races evans is the guy for them because thor and gilbert really can't do nothing else than stages or classics. If this works as a team where the favoritism is not a priority basically anybody can win races for the team, and that means to sell more bikes.

As for money, well... this guys doesnt earn that much either, many of them probably earn less that anybody here. Evans costs millions maybe, but pretty much thats it. The only guys who earn a lot are the tdf or giro winners because of other contracts aside. Comercials, tv and sponsorships but besides that the base money they get is not that high, at least not like a soccer or nba player that is just nuts.

MattTuck
08-19-2011, 11:53 AM
Thor and Gilbert are built for two different types of classics races. PR vs. LBL. It's a loss to Garmin to have lost Thor, but he was pretty much a pawn in JV's PR classics campaigns last year.

Dave B
08-19-2011, 11:59 AM
I see issues with some of the classics races as there are guys who all want the win. Now, why not have 4 or 5 guys who could win the race in the race then say just one.

Gilbert will get better and if Evans falters in say Le Tour, they wil lhave Gilbert and Thor for sprints and green jerseys let alone yellow ones. I see major potential even if there are issues w/in the team at dinner.

Plus if you can lock up Gilbert for a few years, I see that as a very wise investment. He is a major player and has been. Quickstep or whatever the new super Belgian team is going to be called failed on letting him go! Oh well, money talks.

BMC could see a huge season coming up in the W column...best of luck to them.

torquer
08-19-2011, 11:59 AM
By "third-tier" I didn'y mean to dis the product, just pointing out they are not a major retail presence.
I agree that most riders on their roster make close to the UCI minimum wage (around 30K Euros, as I recall). But with a typical ProTour team budget of 15 to 20 MM Euros, both Cadel and Thor probably account for 2 MM each, Gilbert at least close to that, who knows what Ballan pulls down (WC in 2009), some middle-level riders (Hincapie, say) in mid-six figures, support staff, travel expenses, etc. Maybe Bernie Madoff could make the accounting work, but he might have to stay up late.

John H.
08-19-2011, 12:08 PM
Owner of BMC Bicycles (Andy Rihs) has deep pockets. He also owns Phonak hearing aids. Probably other stuff too.

firerescuefin
08-19-2011, 12:53 PM
Thor and Gilbert are built for two different types of classics races. PR vs. LBL. It's a loss to Garmin to have lost Thor, but he was pretty much a pawn in JV's PR classics campaigns last year.

Matt said pretty much what I was going to write...plus what a team for Young Phinney and TJvG to apprentice and grow under.

Not sure what was meant by third tier manufacturer. Among the race crowd, they're not....and if you threw your leg over one, you would think anything but third tier. Had the chance to ride their current team bike for 2 days. Super bike.

Here was Pez's (Charles) recent review

http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=9132

Gummee
08-19-2011, 02:15 PM
Here's hoping that there's no egos over at BMC. Buddy of mine is acquaintances with George and Rich H. Not that I get too much more than y'all do, but inside info is always interesting.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at *those* team meetings!

M

shorelocal
08-19-2011, 03:54 PM
Maybe I missed something somewhere, but what ever happened to the Impec? I thought they made some uber-pimp factory (http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=8850) in Switzerland to make these bikes, but I can't even find them on BMC's site (http://www.bmc-racing.com/int-en/bikes/2011/road.html) .

LegendRider
08-19-2011, 04:51 PM
It's doubtful that bicycle sales can support a world-class team with the level of talent ($) BMC has. It's likely that Andy Rihs is at least partially funding the team out of his personal wealth because of a love for the sport.

http://inrng.com/2010/03/the-wealthiest-men-in-cycling/

whforrest
08-19-2011, 05:38 PM
I work for Senova (owns Phonak, based in Switzerland) here in the United States. Andy Rihs is one of the founders of Phonak. He recently stepped down as Chairman of the Board, but continues a smaller role on the Board of Directors.

Senova is a mult-billion dollar multi-national/global corporation which owns many other business brands in the hearing health industry.

This spring Andy sold a lot of his shares of Senova and seemed to have gotten into trouble. (resulted in stepping down as CEO)

Andy obviously has spent a huge amount of money in developing the BMC Brand. He has passion for cycling, but these recent signings show me he is doubling down for the 2012 season and beyond. BMC the next Trek? I don't know but I am sure he has spent more money than actual revenues. A big bet on the future. BMC is also launching the 2012 brand right now in LA.

Thought I would share my take on all these events.

rice rocket
08-19-2011, 06:00 PM
BMC needs to work on their distribution if they're to become the next Trek.

1centaur
08-19-2011, 06:22 PM
See this on Rihs selling shares to build the Impec factory.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/Heads_roll_at_Sonova_after_share_sale_debacle.html ?cid=29885274

The controversy surrounds the sale of 300,000 shares by Rihs on March 8, worth SFr37.5 million ($41 million). Just eight days later, Sonova issued a profits warning, bringing down the share price from SFr128 to SFr115.

At the news conference, Rihs repeatedly denied insider trading and offered to buy shares back at the value that he sold them for.

Rihs pointed out that he had sold Sonova shares in the past, reducing his holding from 25 per cent to nine per cent in the last few years. The main reason for cashing in shares in March was to help finance a bicycle factory in Grenchen, canton Solothurn, the former head of the now defunct Phonak cycling team added.