Dumped by phone, email or simply ghosted: Specialized's sudden termination of its ambassador contracts

'There was no notice, contracts were ended early’: longtime athletes scramble to find new sponsors

Specialized headquarters in Morgan Hill, California
(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

After months of vagueness or silence, Specialized ambassadors found out late last week that their contracts would not be renewed or, even, terminated early.

These ambassadors are media athletes from around the globe and across cycling disciplines who were responsible for creating content and generating brand awareness rather than race results.

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.