Slipstream Sports have announced that Oath will come on board as a major sponsor in 2018. The team are currently racing under the banner of Cannondale-Drapac and the news of Oath's involvement puts the organisation on a solid footing for the years ahead.
Oath is a digital media company with over 50 media and technology brands, including HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, Engadget and Autoblog under its control. In a statement released Friday, Slipstream confirmed that Oath would appear on the team's racing kit in 2018, although they would not confirm if the company would be a title sponsor.
"Professional cycling is rich with stories, only a fraction of which are actually told," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports.
"This partnership will allow us to open up the team in terms of content well beyond what most of the United States audience sees. Oath has the platforms, skill and ambition to tell the story of cycling in a myriad of ways. We want people to see us better, to get to know the riders, the staff, and what it takes to be in pro cycling. And we want to use our position as professionals in the realm of the everyday cyclist, too. This partnership gives us a chance to do all those things."
In a call with Cyclingnews, Vaughters admitted that the stability and future of the team was his highest priority this season. Earlier in the year reports had surfaced that suggested Cannondale would end their association with the team, a matter that Vaughters denied. The team will remain on Cannondale bikes in 2018.
"Sponsorship is a year-to-year battle for each and every team at the WorldTour level. This gets us closer to where we want to be but when I'm watching us on TV one of my biggest concerns is whether our team cars are going to break down because they've got 250,000 miles on the clock. We spend what we have on our talented riders and getting them to go as fast as they possibly can. That means some of the infrastructure gets a bit tired," he said.
"We run a really tight ship and on a thin budget. This gets us one step closer to where we want to be. We're open to more business and doing more deals like this. We've a few other parties knocking on the door but we need to get out of the situation whereby the team is held together by duct tape. This is big step for the team but we still have other places on the jersey for potential sponsors."
With the new investment from Oath secured, Vaughters can turn his attention to contract negotiations with his riders. Rigoberto Uran, Pierre Rolland, Simon Clarke, and Davide Formolo are all out of contract this season while Bryan Coquard is being monitored by the team as a potential signing although any form of negotiations with the Frenchman's agent are a long way off.
Uran currently sits in third overall at the Tour de France with three stages remaining.