BlackCrown and Felt Teams to Merge for 2014
Once the spigot of team scoop for any given year opens, it rarely lets up til the last drop of new-color-news runs out–usually around the Monday after Reno in January.
This year, the curtain went up on the 2014 season discussion a little earlier than usual, with big announcements last week that both Morphine Industries and BlackCrown were cutting large chunks of their current 2013 roster, with a “stay tuned for what’s to come” tacked on.
Even earlier, News had heard talk that Felt Bicycles was withdrawing their BMX racing bike line for 2014–something that was confirmed at Interbike last week, when the bikes were not on the floor of the massive Felt island booth.
Which brings us to today’s “peanut butter and chocolate” moment–a tasty pairing that makes all the sense in the world.
Carlos Perez has managed the Felt Factory team from 2003-2009, with a 1-year deal with GT in 2010, and then back with Felt from 2011 to present. That’s the way it works when you are an independent team. Carlos has been the unifying and stabilizing force for the team, and it has remained a rock-solid contender, with an eye for on-the-rise talent, all along.
Rob McAllister has put together a high-wattage squad, himself, since starting the BlackCrown products team in 2010. Lots of main makers in the ranks.
So, when Felt announced they would be exiting the BMX racing market, that left Carlos on the hunt for a new frame sponsor. And that brings us to today.
Rob and Carlos are bringing this scoop to BMX News readers first: The two teams will combine in 2014 to form Factory BlackCrown Products. The resulting team will be under the management of Carlos, with Rob’s company as primary sponsor.
The pre-merge rosters of both teams will get a trim, and the riders who will move on have already been given the option to stay the rest of the 2013 season or, if another offer presents itself, to move before the Grands with well wishes.
The next natural question is who WILL be on the combined team?
Well, the official roster is still in pencil form, as final commitments are inked in, so that stays a “coming soon” point. We should have a better idea on roster after the Disney Cup. BMX News did report last week that Charlie Hunt, and Ryan DeRoche would jump over to BlackCrown from Morphine, so that’s two for the new team. And we’d assume Rob hasn’t cut himself from the team, so three squares filled in.
News spoke to both Carlos and Rob about the team merger. Here’s what they said:
It’s been a a great 10 years for me with Felt and I need to thank Alan Foster and the entire Felt organization for all their support over those years. What a class act everyone at Felt has been. Thank you!
I was given the heads up that Felt would not be back in early May, and began calling out to see if I could find the right frame sponsor for the team going into 2014. So I reached out to Rob several months ago and we had numerous conversations on how we can both make this work. Rob agreed to meet me at the Delaware national a couple of weeks ago to put the final touches on the merger and we were able to work out all the details and came to an agreement that the new Factory BlackCrown Products team would include top riders from my current roster and Rob’s BlackCrown roster, as well as a couple of new riders like Charlie Hunt and Ryan Deroche. I will be the acting team manager with Rob being the owner and title sponsor of the team. I was also able to bring my current financial sponsors to the new team next year ie. Allstate Roadside Services, Coleman Motors and Mariani Gardens, to name a few.
I am so grateful and excited for the opportunity to represent BlackCrown Products for 2014. Now I need to get back on the phone so I can start building a powerhouse team for Rob.
I want to first thank everyone that has represented BlackCrown Products over the past few seasons. When Carlos first approached me about sponsoring his team, I was interested, but simply could not keep my existing factory team and sponsor another top level team. That’s when we started discussing a merger of the two teams. Carlos brings a lot of team manager experience to the team and this will give me more time to focus on marketing, advertising, and product development for BlackCrown Products. We have several new things in the works including our updated “Throne” race frames. I am excited to see what the 2014 season brings and look forward to working with Carlos and the new team.
The new team will retain long-time co-sponsors Profile Racing and Fly Racing, and will ad SNAFU to the mix, plus a few other brands that are on final approach.
Congrats to Carlos and Rob, as well as all the riders and sponsors involved.