In this photo of Ryan Trebon's cyclocross bike, you'll notice that there is a Clement tires sponsor sticker on the top tube and a Dugast tire on the rear rim.
What does it mean to for a bike equipment company to 'sponsor' a rider. Does it merely mean to pay them in order to have them sport a logo on their clothing or bicycle. Like a skinny rolling billboard? Or does it imply some sort of endorsment?
Websites like cyclingnews.com with a huge readership of avid cyclists regularly show things like logos taped over with electrical tape to conceal the name of manufacturer that conflicts with an in-place sponsorship. Sometimes, mechanics will even re-badge something (like a tire for example, they're all black tubes). This implies that riding the sponsors equipment is important, but the media articles probably have a negative effect on customer perception. Or at least, a positive effect on the customer's perception of the chosen equipment. I mean, what's more powerful advertising for Dugast than showing that a pro rider, who could get all the free Clement tires he wants, spends money on Dugasts?
BTW, Trebon's Kona isn't even made by Kona, it's made by Caribou.