At the moment one thing is certain. We live in uncertainty. I guess we always do, but right now the outcomes are more unpredictable than ever. The June and July ahead of us will be without the most prestigious bike race on the planet, and that is reality.
The circular economy of professional cycling is pretty straightforward. Sponsor --> Teams --> Races --> Market effect for the sponsor. In a situation where you have teams not being able to race, the circle breaks. In particular in a situation where the teams have no security buffer available (equity). Let's use the boring "if".
- If the value of TV-rights had been shared between federations, teams and organizers,
- If we had model for transfer fees between devo teams and pro teams,
- If there was a budget cap for the pro teams,
- If there was a wage cap for the pro teams; would it be different given the current situation of uncertainty?
Yes it would. Because uncertainty is best handled by creating a predictable and fair foundation for all players in order to handle the risk that is out there. We would still have been left with a huge amount of parameters to twist on and continue the neverending fight to outperform our competitors. We need a fundamental structural change.
The Uno-X Situation Room: no layoffs for riders and staff. No reductions in contract payments. We are working everyday to improve ourselves and come out stronger than ever whenever allowed to. I am thankful given the current crisis - it has more to do with the team ownership rather than the sport "structureship".
It never stops. I am always re-evaluating our structures. This doesn't imply that we change them often (we rarely do), but I keep on thinking - what can we do better? what can we improve? are we on track? I understand that this element of constant search (and worry) is a part of my job description, so I am starting to get used to it.
Uno-X is operating unmanned fuel stations. In a very efficient structure with a solid concept. How to improve within this pretty limited concept frame? Well, we have some thoughts. You might see them alive soon. This weekend we opened a new station in Sarpsborg, Norway. We had a fantastic start - thanks to all customers!
Within cycling, Uno-X is operating the Uno-X Norwegian Development Team and the DARE Bikes Development Team. The latter is our project devoted to the development of the next generation of climbers. It's an efficient and complementary system, and hopefully a strong contribution to Scandinavian cycling.
Questions which often come to my mind are:
1) What is the optimal structure for our chain of development?
2) What about women's cycling? Should Uno-X engage more in this? If yes, how?
Regardless of the answers I know that the structure must be kept easy, efficient and long-term. We cannot carry all this ourselves. It's not a one-company-show. However, based on the potential I am sure it is a wise strategy to follow for someone out there. Even in Scandinavia. We just have to inspire them, and I need to handle my night visions.
Conclusion: A partner with the same thoughts would be interesting. 4-5 MEUR per year anyone?
Today we released "The Next Step" on the online platform of TV2 Norway. I am so proud of the team. Our project. However, today it came to my mind again that one guy is not there.
Danny - we miss you big time.
Take care and #FlattenTheCurve
About the Author
Jens Haugland is the General Manager of the Uno-X Norwegian Development Team and CEO of Uno-X Norge AS. Amongst friends and family he is well known for his level of enthusiasm and passion for the sport of cycling. You’ll meet him along the roads in the municipality of Nittedal, his beloved home region, on his custom-built DARE GFE or MR1s bike. You may also find him on Twitter by the name @sykkelsjefen, where he share his day to day thoughts on what’s going on in the world of cycling. He’s 36 years old and has three kids together with Elisabeth.
All photos taken by the excellent Jan Brychta + E. Sollie (Uno-X stations)