Lance Armstrong broke his collarbone in a bike race in Spain today, putting his Tour de France comeback in jeopardy.
Update: Lance will ride the Tour, his team says.
Why are you reading about this on a tech/media business site?
Well, first, because we first read about the news on Lance’s teammate Levi Leipheimer’s Twitter feed — hours before we found this NYT story — which we found interesting. (But not surprising.)
But moreso, because some companies were poised to get a boost from Lance’s comeback. And if he’s not riding the Tour this year, they might not get that hypothetical boost.
In the U.S., one loser could be Comcast (CMCSA), whose Versus network provides wall-to-wall Tour de France television coverage. Without Lance in the race, Versus stands to lose casual Tour viewers. (The good news: Comcast’s advertising business, which is already suffering, is a small percentage of the company’s business.)
It’s probably not good news for Twitter, either, where Lance has 373,000 followers, making him the 9th most-popular Twitter user, according to WeFollow, a Twitter directory. If Lance races this summer, we suspect more people would start following his tweets there — perhaps even joining Twitter to track him and his teammates, including Leipheimer. If he doesn’t ride, they might not.
It could also be bad news for the Astana group, the “coalition of state-owned companies from Kazakhstan” that sponsors the team Lance rides for. But state-owned companies from Kazakhstan are a bit beyond our purview.
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