According to a company statement from RadioShack (full statement below) announcing the deal Armstrong will "compete for Team RadioShack as a cyclist, runner and triathlete", they do things differently in Texas, but it is a smart move capitalising on Armstrong's undoubted media pulling power while taking some of the pressure off of him to win everything.
"This has been a great season so far - the response in the countries we've been to has been amazing and it's clear now that this was the right choice," said Armstrong in the statement.
"Utilising the massive media attention that the sport receives has been the perfect vehicle to help spread the Livestrong message around the world.
"To be able to compete for an American team comprised of the world's top cyclists, supported by the best coaches and staff - I couldn't be happier to partner with RadioShack, a truly iconic American brand," added Armstrong.
He will ride the 2010 Tour for his new team though and he's already said that with better preparation he expects to do better than the likely third place he will bag this time around.
A big name in the US but hardly known at all outside North America Radio Shack are national chain of selling consumer electronic goods and they're based in Forth Worth, Texas. Although many believed that Armstrong's new team would carry the Livestrong name and be backed by Nike with whom the Texan has a very close relationship.
It became clear in the days leading up to the announcement that this might not be the done deal that everyone had expected – particularly when it was revealed that the web domain www.teamradioshack.com had been registered to Armstrong's Texas-based management company. A holding page has gone live at that web address within the last few minutes.
Now that team is in place we can start speculating about who will ride for it. Cadel Evans name has already been linked with the new outfit as have Mark Cavendish (of whom Armstrong is clearly a fan) and Bradley Wiggins. It is likely though that both he and Bruyneel will want to nurture some American talent with namesl like Taylor Phinney likely to be in the frame.
And Alberto Contdador? Well if you want to have a team of the world's best cyclists, he is the best. And while it would seem unlikely if for no other reason than it would be good box office to have a strong rival outstide – as history has consistently shown, on Planet Armstrong nothing can be taken for granted.
RadioShack official statement
RadioShack Partners With Seven-Time Tour de France Winner Lance Armstrong to Form New Cycling Team in 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas and AUSTIN, Texas, July 23, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) is proud to announce a partnership with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong to form a new American Pro-Tour cycling team. Beginning in 2010, Lance Armstrong will compete for Team RadioShack as a cyclist, runner and triathlete in events around the world, including the 2010 Tour de France.
Lance Armstrong returned to the world stage of professional cycling in order to promote the efforts of the LIVESTRONG Foundation and their fight against cancer. From the start of the 2009 season at the Tour Down Under in Australia, Lance's return has generated significant attention and has allowed LIVESTRONG to step up awareness, grassroots action and fundraising in the global fight against cancer.
"This has been a great season so far - the response in the countries we've been to has been amazing and it's clear now that this was the right choice. Utilizing the massive media attention that the sport receives has been the perfect vehicle to help spread the LIVESTRONG message around the world," said Lance Armstrong. "To be able to compete for an American team comprised of the world's top cyclists, supported by the best coaches and staff - I couldn't be happier to partner with RadioShack, a truly iconic American brand," said Armstrong.
"Teaming up with RadioShack makes sense for a number of reasons. For one, it's very appealing to me that they have a huge base of stores throughout the U.S. and Mexico. We have an incredible opportunity to leverage RadioShack's connection to tens of millions of people to spread the LIVESTRONG message," said Armstrong. "Also, in cycling, the technology we use on our bikes matters - it allows us to compete at the highest level. It's important to me to partner with a brand that understands the role technology plays in people's lives."
"RadioShack keeps people connected in a highly mobile world through innovative technology from leading brands," said Lee Applbaum, RadioShack's Chief Marketing Officer. "As one of the greatest athletes of our generation, a father, a cancer survivor, and a tireless advocate in the fight against cancer, Lance Armstrong understands the power of keeping people connected and that's why we feel he's the perfect partner for our brand. "
"This is an exciting time at RadioShack," added Applbaum. "We are re-launching our brand with a new creative platform in early August, and now having Lance on our team - an American icon who embodies the spirit of mobility, connectivity and philanthropy - really allows us to accelerate our brand's evolution."
RadioShack also plans to activate their 35,000 employees and almost 6,000 stores across the country to raise awareness and funding for the fight against cancer through the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG. "We know that cancer research and survivorship is near to the hearts of many of our associates and customers, and together with Lance and his Foundation, we have the power to make a meaningful difference," said Julian Day, RadioShack's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
RadioShack will also sponsor the LIVESTRONG Foundation's signature fundraising event, the LIVESTRONG Challenge Series, a 5K run/walk and cycling ride held in four cities throughout the United States, providing support for an ongoing, self-sustaining fundraising vehicle to raise money for the fight against cancer.
"RadioShack's sponsorship will help spread the spirit of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign and fuel its efforts make cancer a global priority. The cancer community salutes RadioShack's efforts and the investment they are making in support of 28 million people living with this disease," said Doug Ulman, CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Wasserman Media Group managed the partnership process on behalf of Capital Sports & Entertainment and Lance Armstrong.
About RadioShack Corporation
RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH), headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the nation's most experienced and trusted consumer electronics specialty retailers, offering innovative products and services from leading brands. Our knowledgeable, helpful sales associates are committed to enhancing the in-store shopping experience by listening to our customers, offering advice, and partnering with them to find the best technology solutions that fit their needs. Operating from convenient and accessible neighborhood and mall locations, the company has approximately 4,450 company-operated stores; almost 1,400 dealer outlets; nearly 600 wireless phone kiosks throughout the U.S.; and approximately 200 company-operated stores in Mexico. For more information on RadioShack Corporation, or to purchase items online, visit www.RadioShack.com.
Capital Sports & Entertainment
Based in Austin, Texas, Capital Sports & Entertainment (CSE) builds and manages experiences, personalities, businesses and brands. CSE has launched successful enterprises such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, the Discovery Channel Pro-Cycling Team, C3 Presents, and C3 Management. CSE ran and managed the Discovery Channel Pro-Cycling Team from 2004-2007 after taking over as manager of the United States Pro-Cycling Team. CSE created media and marketing partnerships that produced integrated programming on OLN/Versus, ESPN and Discovery. CSE will be the General Manager for Team RadioShack, which will compete as a Pro-Tour team. Additionally, CSE manages the Trek-LIVESTRONG U23 Team, a joint project between Lance Armstrong and Trek Bicycle to help develop the next generation of great American cyclists. For more information about CSE or its clients and properties, visit www.planetcse.com.
SOURCE RadioShack Corporation
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.