The Adolph Coors Company announced it will no longer sponsor the Coors International Bicycle Classic because the company wants to expand its sponsorship of cycling “to more of a nationwide level and a season-long basis.”
Coors has sponsored the race for nine years. Its contract ended after the 1988 Coors Classic, in August, and race director Michael Aisner had said he was negotiating both with Coors and with other possible sponsors.
Aisner was out of town and unavailable for comment today. He has said he was looking for a sponsor that would exceed Coors’ commitment of 40 percent of the budget. Ideally, he said, he would like to have several sponsors.
Coors spokeswoman Sandy Bean said the company broke ties with the race because “the Coors Classic has always been something of an anomaly in our overall sports marketing program -- it’s a single event, it lasts two weeks and it goes through three states.”
Bean said the race is a success but “doesn’t help us on a national basis. We want to work with our distributors. When we sponsor an event, we want to sponsor it so that we can somehow sell beer around it.”
Bean said Coors planned to continue its involvement with cycling and would announce a new cycling project sponsored by the Coors Light brand on Nov. 15.
“The company’s been very proud of the Coors Classic -- it was a good event for us at the time,” she said.
When Coors didn’t renew its contract with the race by Aisner’s July 1 deadline, company officials said it was because of budgeting technicalities.