Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time to revive Tour de Trump – Tour de Global Trump

If you had not heard of Tour de Trump do not despair. The multi-stage cycling event had a life of two editions and quickly metamorphosed in to Tour DuPont, carrying its corporate sponsor’s name. All of this happened in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. The event was planned as an American response to the grand, mystique-laden Tour de France, but unfortunately the newcomer did not have any staying power. While the grand old lady continues running rings around France and neighboring countries, Tour DuPont has been dumped as a mere historical footnote, running for no more than 8 editions, under two different names.
Now, I espied an opportunity to revive Tour de Trump, indeed rechristening it Tour de Global Trump, and what a tour it will be. It will go beyond Tour de France, by an order of magnitude and be a truly global tour. Its stages will be fixed around Trump Towers as and when they prop up in various cities around the world. In that sense you will never get the boring feeling of same-old-roundtrip!
As per a news report in today’s paper (The Hindu, Lalatendu Mishra, August 13, 2013, http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/i-am-excited-about-opportunities-here-says-donald-trump/article6309481.ece), Donald Trump is putting up new Trump Tower in Worli in Mumbai. This is the current latest in the lineup of so-named towers in the US (the first one in Atlantic City, New Jersey, if I am not mistaken), Vancouver, Canada, Istanbul, Turkey, Manila in Philippines and Panama. We might expect the vainglorious man to put up his signature towers in Mexico City, Mexico, Japan (Tokyo/Kobe), South Africa (Cape Town/Johannesburg), Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (Singapore is too small, not for the tower but for the tour stage!), Sydney, Australia and a few other cities scattered across the globe but spurning Europe in short order. You may even expect one to be up in the vicinity of a research station in the Antarctic; of course it will be a fabulously furnished dorm for the researchers!
What a tour, then, it will be, circling the towers in each of the locations (Trump will take care of the logistics of holding it in Antarctic personally); the touristers and their retinue will travel across the globe (touching Europe only at its periphery, if you would call Istanbul a European city – an appropriate comeuppance for the region’s arrogance!). It will be a truly global event and not a local event promoted as global.
I see only one problem. As of now, people plunking down reported Rs. 9 – 18 crore for an apartment in the tower in Worli think they are paying for the luxury. But, the truth is the money is going only to expand the Tour de Global Trump. It is all in name recognition, you see. The premium for associating your name with an apartment in a Trump Tower around which cyclists take a tour will be hefty. And, to think that the less-than-modest apartment building in which I have an apartment around which cyclists tour day in and day out, I have paid no premium at all. I think I have struck a better deal than those suckers!
Raghuram Ekambaram

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