Mark Cavendish is too quick to bother with vowels. Days before the Manx Missile sets out to win stage one of the Tour de France on Saturday, he has launched his own brand.
It’s called CVNDSH and has the slogan FSTASFCK (add an “A” and a “U” if that’s not CLRSFCK).
Cavendish is the latest Brit cyclist to cash in on glory. Chris Boardman and Victoria Pendleton have bike deals with Halfords, and Evans Cycles launched HOY bikes this month. But Cav’s enterprise is more about him than the bike, with echoes of a now unmentionable one-man cycling brand (which is now just FCKD).
The cyclist has teamed up with Specialized to launch a range of gear featuring his abbreviated self and the green of the sprinter’s jerseys he’s so good at winning. Specialized says the venture will help to “bring Mark closer to the consumer” (kerching!). Cav says of the logo: “If people talk about Mark Cavendish the cyclist, the first thing they say is speed, so it had to show that.”
But one hopes the marketing men behind the deal have studied the risks involved in playing with the F-word. French Connection saw huge success when it turned FCUK into the logo of the 90s, thriving as church leaders and MPs cried foul. But the company is now struggling to unstitch its effects on the contemporary high street. Burger King has faced criticism, meanwhile, for describing its burgers as “King Tasty”.
We don’t know yet what CVNDSH’s products will be but the marketing does at least suit the man, who is known not to mince his words.
And if he does nab that green jersey (no pressure, MRK) the range will surely sell out as fast as, well, yes.