Last Friday, one of the big companies that sponsored Astana Qazaqstan, Scicon, decided to break the agreement with the team after Mark Cavendish participated in the first race of the season, Muscat Classic, using glasses from the competing brand Oakley. In statements, the company criticized the team for “not standing up for what is ethically right” and threatened to sue for breach of contract.
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“It is unfortunate that individual drivers can compromise sponsorship deals in this way. It is even more unfortunate that a team fails to champion what is ethically the right thing to do – honor the agreement and recognize the significant investments that have been made to Scicon. We took a strong position on this case and could not make an exception for one pilot,” said CEO Heinrich Dannhauser.
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Since 2022, the company Scicon has sponsored Asana Qazaqstan, offering in addition to glasses, bags, sports items for team athletes. The influence of Mark Cavendish, who refused to give up using Oakley items, even knowing the company’s support, made other athletes stop using the official glasses to use the opposite brand.
In an official statement, Scion said: “Scicon Sports, a leading cycling eyewear brand on the UCI Tour for the past three seasons, has parted ways with Team Astana after two years. This is due to one of their riders, Mark Cavendish, wearing a personal eyewear sponsor brand instead of the sponsored team. Scicon has withdrawn its entire sponsorship deal with the team, which included eyewear, luggage and bike bags”.
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