Columbia Makes An Impression On Cycling Fans

Days before Tour de France started last month, Columbia Sportswear scored a sponsorship coup by picking up the pieces for Team High Road–the cycling team that was dropped by T-Mobile after 16 years.
According to The Oregonian, Columbia’s Chief Executive Tim Boyle said, “The sponsorship was an unqualified success by any measure.”
The team’s five stage victories thrust Columbia’s name and the yellow-flared trademark of its Omni-Shade fabric into broad exposure in Europe.
The Omni-Shade push was important because Europeans generally express a deeper concern about the effects of global warming, said David Kiser, the company’s European operations director.
Just before the Tour began, Stiftung Warentest, the German equivalent of Consumer Reports, published its review of ultraviolet-ray-protection in nine shirts. It gave Columbia’s Intercontinental shirt its highest rating. Its tests also found the shirt’s actual UV protection factor value to be 10 times higher than Columbia’s declared 40 UPF.
“Only Columbia used additional chemical brighteners as UV blockers, similar to those found in detergents,” the magazine reported.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.