Archive | February 23, 2013

Does Anybody Else Think It Was Incongruous For U.S. Post Office To Spend $31 Million Sponsoring Lance Armstrong.

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by
Anura Guruge


I am, and have always been, a BIG fan of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). I use them whenever I can.

I do appreciate that they do have to promote and advertise SOME of their ‘premium’ services like ‘Priority Mail‘. No question about that.

But, did they really need to spend $31 million, albeit amortized over multiple years, promoting Armstrong — especially in the Tour de France.

Yes, I appreciate that a LOT of Americans watched the ‘Tour’ when Lance was winning. But, that said, the ‘Tour’ is still mainly an European sporting events. Europeans are NOT the target market for the USPS! It is not like you can go to a French post office and say: ‘I want this letter to the U.S. sent via USPS‘.

The other thing is that, whether they admit to it or not, the USPS is a monopoly when it comes to standard mail. Of course, FedEx, UPS and DHL will deliver letters, but not for (what is it now) 4x cents. I get that Armstrong represented: speed, overcoming adversity and winning. BUT, for the USPS’ real target market wouldn’t they have been better off going with NASCAR?

So, this whole notion that they spent $31 Million with Armstrong and his franchise doesn’t sit well with me. I also appreciate that $30M to the USPS is mere bagatelle, chump change — not even a rounding error in the amount of money they handle a day. But, a bit of discretion might not have been a bad thing.

How and what large enterprises like the USPS decide to sponsor always intrigues me — given that I was involved in corporate marketing for many decades. Was this pushed through by one senior executive or did they spend months having numerous high-level meetings.

Just one of many things that get me thinking.

Who are they sponsoring now? I haven’t checked. I like their Priority Mail service. Use it often, though it seems to go up in leaps and bounds every few weeks. I remember it was $4.xx for a box. I think it is $5.xx now.

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