below you will see an email i had to send out to my photographers that were going to cover the wachovia por series races for our website. apparently a site that is run by cylists for cyclists is not high enough on the food chain for press credintials any more. what is funny is that they told me we were approved then changed their minds at the last moment. when an american is no longer winning le tour de france and the armchair riders and couch surfers no longer care about cycling then they will be wishing they could get some coverage. take a little time a read the below emails.
From me to my staff:
After waiting for a full month for a response to our applications I talked personally to the organizers of the Wachovia series on Tuesday of last week and they said that we were approved for press credintials. When I checked my email last Friday I received a message that we have been declined. I have tried calling the folks at PR sports and emailing them for an explanation but have not gotten a response. I have had this happen before. The press applications were due in by April 28 so that means they should have a clear response soon after. What happens is that they approve folks, then as the event gets closer they get a rash of late applicants who look like bigger fish and they cull the small ones.
At this years Tour de Georgia this happened to me in the strangest way. I was approved for my press credintials and photo vest. To get a photographers vest issued you had to apply a month in advance in addition to your application for press credintials. You also had to list which stages you wanted it for. I only asked for stage 5 and 6 and was approved. With 20 minutes left before the end of the final stage the press officials came and took my vest and gave it to a Sports Illustrated photographer who showed up with less than a half hour left in the race. We took a full week following every stage of the race, posted over 60 pages of coverage on the website and then got our ticket pulled with 20 minutes left in the race. My personal thoughts are that if the Sports Illustrated person was serious about his job they would have shown up before the last few minutes of the race. Also, out of the 25 photo vests issued, two of the other people with them had misprepresented themselves. The funny thing is that one local newspaper had three photo vests for this same stage. These race organizers seem very disorganized.
These organizers seem to act like greedy business people rather than cyclists. The fact that our site gets around 3,000 hits per day on the cycling section does not seem to impress these people. I would almost bet we got bumped because some local newspaper that is going to give them a paragraph and on photo in the sports section decided to send someone. This is the second season for covering bicycle racing for our website and I have had this happen at almost every event. I now know why bicycle racing has never been as popular in the U.S. The race organizers are quite often amatuers or at least act like it.
From the event organizers:
Dear Media Contact:
Your credential for the Wachovia Cycling Series has been denied. Please accept our sincerest apology as the event media center has received more credential requests than ever in the 21-year history of the race.
Please know that there are plenty of great locations to see and photograph the course that are open to the public. We thank you for your interest in the Wachovia Cycling Series.
Threshold Sports LLC
2650 Eisenhower Ave.
Norristown, PA 19403