The Outer Line’s “Team Optum: A Model for the Future?” Showcases Innovative Business Strategies

In-Depth Profile Highlights Team’s Innovative Management, Marketing, Anti-Doping Philosophies

As part of its ongoing “A Roadmap to Repair Pro Cycling” series, The Outer Line recently published an exhaustive profile of Circuit Sport’s cutting-edge approach to pro cycling team management. As the managing agency of one of North America’s longest running and most successful road racing teams, Circuit Sport have carved a unique path through the cluttered world of domestic pro racing.

“Our success over the last decade is thanks in large part to two things – drawing a line in the sand on doping and turning the team into a highly effective engagement platform for each of our partners,” said team owner and managing director Charles Aaron. “This combination of ethical sport and serious, smart marketing ideas has proven very powerful through some tough years in the sport. It is validating to see The Outer Line give recognition to our philosophies on team management, and hopefully they will help the sport we love so much continue to grow and flourish.”

Head over to The Outer Line to read the full piece, or read excerpts from authors Steve Maxwell and Joe Harris’ in-depth interviews with team personnel below.

Aaron on his approach to sponsorship:
“I think of (our sponsors) as business partners. We both have our individual business objectives, and we are trying to accomplish those objectives together, via a professional cycling team. “We (ask) – what could the impact of a partnership be on your business? Is it good for your employees and clients, for your company? Garmin or BMC may be our competitors on the road, but from a business perspective my real competition is the Superbowl, Major League Baseball, or some Manhattan billboard.”

Aaron on bringing the team to the World Tour:
“Our top-down ethical stance actually does work, and I think we really do help to shape the younger riders’ views. These young folks retain those views and those value systems when they go on to other teams. I have the vision that we could take the model we have developed domestically and do it at a global level, without compromising any of our key criteria.”

Performance Director Jonas Carney on his hiring philosophy:
“Even the most talented guys have a realistic trajectory. When a rider gets 15% stronger in one winter or goes from being someone you’ve never heard of to being one of the strongest guys in North America in one year – that is a serious red flag. We don’t go near guys like that.”

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