Mark Cavendish talks Tour de France goals and launches CVNDSH range

FST AS FCK tagline grabs attention... not all of it positive

by Simon_MacMichael   June 25, 2013  

CVNDSH home page

Mark Cavendish aims to take the yellow jersey on the opening day of the 100th Tour de France on Corsica this Saturday, and finish the race in the green one on the Champs-Elysées three weeks later. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider has also announced the launch of his own brand, CVNDSH, which will feature products from Oakley, Specialized and Nike – although it seems to be the FST AS FCK slogan that is attracting most attention, not all of it positive.

Speaking yesterday in London, the 28-year-old, who in recent weeks has achieved two big firsts, clinching the points jersey in the Giro d’Italia and, on Sunday, the British national road race championship said: "I've worn the leader's jersey in the Vuelta and the Giro; I haven't worn the yellow jersey yet so I'd like to do that. It's a big, big goal for a team built around stage wins."

Were he to win that opening stage from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on Saturday afternoon, Cavendish would become just the third Briton to have worn the leader’s jersey at all three Grand Tours – the others are David Millar and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

However, the former world champion, winner of all five sprints he contested at last month’s Giro d’Italia, including on the opening day in Naples and the final stage in Brescia, said he expects the competition to be fierce.

"It's a strong group of sprinters this year,” explained Cavendish, quoted in The Daily Telegraph. “To get a win won't be easy, especially in the first stage of the Tour.

"History has showed it normally takes me a few days to get into a Grand Tour. Not at the Giro this year, but before that.

"We'll go for it, but you have to show the Tour de France respect - nothing's a given. We'll try our best and see what happens."

Saturday will also be Cavendish’s first race in the colours of British champion after he beat the man who has worn that jersey for the past 12 months, Sky’s Ian Stannard, and Garmin-Sharp’s Millar to the title in Glasgow on Sunday. It’s a prospect he relishes.

"To wear a jersey for a year, to represent my country as the champion, that's a massive honour,” he says. “Hopefully I'll do it proud and show that Great Britain is a dominant force in cycling."

Cavendish, winner to date of 23 career stages of the Tour de France, four of them in the final day on the Champs-Elysées where he has never been beaten, won the points classification in 2011.

Cannondale’s Peter Sagan beat him to that prize in last year’s race and the pair are expected to be the main protagonists in the fight for the green jersey this time round.

"It's the colour I chase," admits Cavendish. "The green jersey in the Tour de France every year is what my whole career goes around."

It’s unsurprising then that the colour features prominently in the identity of his new brand, CVNDSH, which was launched yesterday, and which will feature products from Specialized, Oakley and Nike.

At the moment, the website comprises just a holding page that links to Cavendish’s personal website.

The brand’s slogan, FST AS FCK, has already attracted plenty of comment, not all of it positive, on social media sites such as Twitter.

Inevitably, comparisons are being drawn with clothing brand French Connection’s former four-lettered FCUK acronym that saw the company regularly cross swords with the Advertising Standards Authority.

The brand dropped that acronym from its advertising in 2004 and it now only uses it on certain ranges, but the business has struggled to recapture its former success, not helped of course by the economic downturn that kicked in towards the end of the decade.

So, over to road.cc users in the comments below: CVNDSH: FST AS FCK – or TIRED AS FCUK…?

35 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

davecochrane wrote:
Surprised that Specialized are happy to be tagged with this despite Cav's success.

They're probably pretty happy, it could have just been a "Why CVNDSH?" "Why is he launching a brand?" affair and all forgotten in an afternoon.

However, chuck on a throwaway strapline like 'FST AS FCK' and all of a sudden Specialized and Oakley are getting vicarious column inches and publicity and people are talking about it (and them) right in to the next day and possibly longer.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
25th June 2013 - 12:25

7 Likes

davecochrane wrote:
Surprised that Specialized are happy to be tagged with this despite Cav's success.

Couldn't agree more, there's no red or S logo in it anywhere... God forbid something they're involved with that isn't plastered in their branding.

posted by alexholt3 [52 posts]
25th June 2013 - 12:27

4 Likes

"FST AS FCK" ???

Surprise

Oh my f'ing life, that is so incredibly CRAP!

How much did they pay the advertising knob-jockeys to come up with that?

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2058 posts]
25th June 2013 - 12:37

6 Likes

A bit disappointing. Lacks a bit of class. Why not MNX MSSL? That's what he's called.

I love Cav, but something a bit more decorous would be preferable.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1205 posts]
25th June 2013 - 12:55

5 Likes

oh dear, what a pile of S H T

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [195 posts]
25th June 2013 - 13:55

7 Likes

Oh I dunno. I suppose if I think about it a bit (heaven forbid) it's a bit juvenile and does mean parents are less likely to buy t-shirts or whatever for their offspring. But when I first saw it it did put a smile on my face. And it takes a lot to do that these days.

posted by Rushie [36 posts]
25th June 2013 - 14:07

6 Likes

FST AS FCK
is missing
I R E U
A Possible nod to the days of rooming with Big Bernie?

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
25th June 2013 - 14:11

7 Likes

It clearly works then doesn't it, all you guys are talking about it, what is the purpose of Marketing, to raise brand awareness which in turn sometimes turns into a purchase, maybe not by you (because you are not the target market), but you complaining about it to a mate, your mate thinks, I like that and hey presto he has the shirt.

Well done on the free advertising Smile

posted by mikeprytherch [219 posts]
25th June 2013 - 15:50

7 Likes

Considering his girth in the past it should read

FAT AS FCK

posted by RichmondTTer [8 posts]
25th June 2013 - 16:18

4 Likes

he may be the fasting sprinter in the world right now, but he's still an arrogant little t**t imo ...

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
25th June 2013 - 16:51

4 Likes

Terrible, chavtastic, tacky, and not really what I want to see when I'm tring to get my son into the sport. Anyone be buying this for their kids ? If a footballer did it he'd get destroyed

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [188 posts]
25th June 2013 - 16:57

3 Likes

mikeprytherch wrote:
It clearly works then doesn't it, all you guys are talking about it, what is the purpose of Marketing, to raise brand awareness which in turn sometimes turns into a purchase, maybe not by you (because you are not the target market), but you complaining about it to a mate, your mate thinks, I like that and hey presto he has the shirt.

Well done on the free advertising Smile

depends if you subscribe to the view that all publicity is good publicity. I'd say that a product range supposedly targeted at cyclists being roundly slated by cyclists is not a great start. If cyclists aren't the target market then who is? Despite the 'British Cycling Renaissance' etc Mr Cvndsh is still not really a household name to Joe Bloggs. The sport just isn't mainstream enough to make this thing crossover from a niche. Shame because potentially it could have done something positive for the image of the sport, this just looks crass

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [914 posts]
25th June 2013 - 17:07

2 Likes

Not to everyone's taste, but I think i's pretty good and designed for a clear target market.

dafyddp's picture

posted by dafyddp [181 posts]
25th June 2013 - 17:11

4 Likes

TTR CRP

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [153 posts]
25th June 2013 - 18:44

5 Likes

Usually I like Cav but this is dire.

Having spent years in marketing, the concept is dire too! Can't believe they went with this one.

posted by Super Domestique [1655 posts]
25th June 2013 - 19:36

3 Likes

Juvenile.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
25th June 2013 - 19:44

4 Likes

Moronic.

Who the fck is advising him?

posted by Doper [46 posts]
25th June 2013 - 19:45

2 Likes

I like it. I'd prefer to have that than 21st Century Fox written on my arse!

I'm sure it works with the Cav image that the marketers are trying to push. A bad boy cyclists who dsnt gve a fck what outraged middle aged middle England cyclist website readers think!

My reading of the comments on this page have only increased my enjoyment of the strapline! Big Grin

botoxking's picture

posted by botoxking [32 posts]
25th June 2013 - 21:17

3 Likes

As far as logos go it's awful, could they not have thought of anything better than 'a green arrow represents speed, and the green jersey' fckng hell!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
25th June 2013 - 21:34

5 Likes

@botoxking I think you've mistaken dismay for outrage.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [914 posts]
25th June 2013 - 21:41

4 Likes

And surely it should be Specialised? Unless all French words end up with a Z and Leisure becomes Leizure and Pleasure no fun at all.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
25th June 2013 - 22:03

3 Likes

Specialized are an American company, the Americans like to change words with S to words with Z, unless I'm missing something with the French thing?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
25th June 2013 - 23:19

4 Likes

RichmondTTer wrote:
Considering his girth in the past it should read

FAT AS FCK


Only ever in pro-cycling terms. In normal terms he's always been SKNNY S RK.

posted by Al__S [645 posts]
26th June 2013 - 8:23

2 Likes

Super Domestique wrote:
Usually I like Cav but this is dire.

Having spent years in marketing, the concept is dire too! Can't believe they went with this one.

I'm a marketing bod myself and I don't think it's that bad. Not as neat as the Wiggins/Fred Perry thing, but that was always giong to be a fairly unique fit.

In road cycling there is some space between the artisanal Rapha/Brooks/Rivendell image and the pure technical stuff, and they seem to aiming for that.

OK, it's a bit clunky in execution (the no-vowels thing is a bit hackneyed, as is the now-tame reference to a swear word) but as a direction it seems a sound attempt to capitalise on (and further promote) his quite distinct image and personality at a time where cycling is on the up, he's a fairly well-known name (though few know what he actually does) and he's likely to be in the sporting headlines over the coming weeks.

I also suspect that Cav had very little at all to do with this other than signing off the idea at its most basic conceptual level.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1103 posts]
26th June 2013 - 8:55

3 Likes

farrell wrote:
Specialized are an American company, the Americans like to change words with S to words with Z, unless I'm missing something with the French thing?

The -ize / -ise thing isn't even a case of American English vs British English.

The Oxford English Dictionary shows 'specialize' as the main entry, followed by 'also -ise'.

Most people here use -ise, -isation etc and in the US they do stick with -ize, ization etc, hence people thinking it's Americanism, which it isn't.

Nerd

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8513 posts]
26th June 2013 - 10:17

3 Likes

Ghedebrav wrote:
Super Domestique wrote:
Usually I like Cav but this is dire.

Having spent years in marketing, the concept is dire too! Can't believe they went with this one.

I'm a marketing bod myself and I don't think it's that bad. Not as neat as the Wiggins/Fred Perry thing, but that was always giong to be a fairly unique fit.

In road cycling there is some space between the artisanal Rapha/Brooks/Rivendell image and the pure technical stuff, and they seem to aiming for that.

OK, it's a bit clunky in execution (the no-vowels thing is a bit hackneyed, as is the now-tame reference to a swear word) but as a direction it seems a sound attempt to capitalise on (and further promote) his quite distinct image and personality at a time where cycling is on the up, he's a fairly well-known name (though few know what he actually does) and he's likely to be in the sporting headlines over the coming weeks.

I also suspect that Cav had very little at all to do with this other than signing off the idea at its most basic conceptual level.

Sorry I wasn't clear, it had been a long day by the time I typed that last night!

By concept, I meant the concept of using that strapline.

I agree that Cav probably had little to do with it.

posted by Super Domestique [1655 posts]
26th June 2013 - 10:27

4 Likes

Does anyone think that aiming for the brasher, younger market could be related to the other brash young sprinter who is likely to be challenging (and probably winning) the green jersey?

I think sprinters have to be of a different mindset, they have to be the ones putting themselves at the front, they have to have that bit of arrogance and aggression as they are the ones at the business end going balls out and elbows up. Much like attacking players in football they have to have that edge about them to say "Nah, I'm doing this and I'm doing it my way" and potentially go rogue, the likes of Zidane, Cantona, etc in the same way as Abdoujapirov and Cipollini did.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
26th June 2013 - 11:32

5 Likes

They had a bit more on the ad agency's webpage as well: http://www.theliftagency.com/images/HOLDING_PAGE13.jpg

jasonbrim's picture

posted by jasonbrim [25 posts]
26th June 2013 - 12:38

2 Likes

Interestingly enough, the marketing goods such as the business cards shown in the image have "cvndsh.co.uk" not "cvndsh.com" - just goes to show how amateurish they are Nerd

jasonbrim's picture

posted by jasonbrim [25 posts]
26th June 2013 - 12:41

3 Likes

jasonbrim wrote:
Interestingly enough, the marketing goods such as the business cards shown in the image have "cvndsh.co.uk" not "cvndsh.com" - just goes to show how amateurish they are Nerd

If you got to cvndsh.com it says "New site coming Fst as Fck - Visit MarkCavendish.com"

The link is for markcavendish.co.uk

Really covering themselves in glory here.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
26th June 2013 - 13:48

4 Likes