El Tour de Tucson is looking for a new title sponsor.
This November’s cycling event, the 30th annual, will be the last one sponsored by University of Arizona Medical Center. UMC has sponsored El Tour for the past five years.
Over a six-year span, UMC will have spent “probably close to a million dollars,” El Tour founder Richard DeBernardis said, helping to buoy every El Tour annual budget.
He said a “community committee” hopes to select the next sponsor by the end of the year. El Tour has already identified about 13 businesses that could be targets for title sponsorship.
Title sponsorship will “likely start at $250,000” per year, he said.
DeBernardis said “we don’t want to think” about what would happen if El Tour failed to find a 2013 sponsor. “In the event we don’t take a title sponsor, we would still forge ahead and put on El Tour de Tucson,” he said.
However, he said, Perimeter Bicycling would likely have to cut staff and programs.
In a statement, UMC said it had “been our privilege to lend our name to one of the premier cycling events in this country, raise millions of dollars for local charities, and to showcase our beautiful hometown to thousands of out-of-town visitors.”