By Susan Westemeyer
The Virgin Group, a British conglomerate owned by indulgent British buisnessman Sir Richard Branson, will become the new title sponsor of the current Team Discovery Channel, team officials have announced. The current sponsor will stay on as a secondary sponsor.
"We are thrilled to have found a sponsor whose philosophy agrees with ours," team officials said. "Virgin says that a sense of competitive challenge is important to them, as it is to us."
"Yeah, and the money is great, too!" cracked another spokesman.
Virgin is now adding professional cycling to its long list of interests, which also include planes, trains, finance, soft drinks, music, mobile phones, vacations, wines, publishing, space tourism and cosmetics.
In a surprise move, the team also announced that current title sponsor Discovery Channel had decided to maintain a presence in the peloton, although a smaller one, and would be the secondary sponsor for the American team.
"The boys have already told me that they'll be proud to be out there giving chase in their Virgin-Discovery jerseys, and can't wait to try them out. We also expect to develop a market for our jerseys among teenaged boys," said a spokesperon from the squad's marketing department.