Rapha will end its partnership with Team Sky at the end of the 2016 season, four years after replacing Adidas as the team's kit provider

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High-end clothing brand Rapha has announced that it will not be renewing its partnership with Team Sky after the 2016 season – bringing an end to a four-year partnership.

Rapha chief executive, Simon Mottram, announced in an open letter that the decision was taken by both the company and the WorldTour team, with Rapha looking to support racing in new territories in 2017.

“After reflection and discussion, both Rapha and Team Sky have decided not to renew our partnership beyond the current four-year deal, which concludes at the end of the 2016 season,” Mottram wrote.

“For the next year Rapha will focus on the research and development projects that are already in progress with the team. With several special new products due to be released in 2016, we now look forward to an exciting final season with Team Sky and celebrating the partnership in style.”

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The partnership began at the end of 2012, when the British brand replaced Adidas as the clothing manufacturer of Team Sky, and has seen two Tour de France victories in the past three seasons.

Rapha announced another year of increased revenue for the year ending February 2015, but its focus on growth and worldwide expansion saw profits fall.

“Going forward Rapha will continue to find partnerships that serve and connect with our customers wherever they are from, and across the many levels and disciplines of this beautiful sport,” Mottram continued.

“The success of our Cycle Clubs and the RCC (Rapha Cycling Club) gives us the confidence to keep moving forwards, to try new ventures and trust our instincts.

“From 2017 we will continue to support racing in many ways, especially locally, but we will also focus on new geographies, partnerships and categories. We will be announcing news on these exciting developments soon.”

  • ummm…

    woops “poll”

  • ummm…

    Do a pole on everybody. Then tell me definitively that there isn’t one person that can be bothered to respond. You seem to be doing so repeatedly. Please, please come up with an insult that is just a bit better if that is the road you are going down. You are just repeating yourself now.

  • dave

    that’s the point, your boring and nobody cares what you have to say.

  • ummm…

    hahaha, ok. you shouldn’t respond to people unless your up for a bit of a conversation. When I troll people I tend to try to be clever and not just droll. You haven’t amused me at all. What are you defending anyway. Somebody alludes to drugs and conspiracy theorists and I respond in line. You just seem to be pushing your way into an already ridiculous conversation and proclaiming it ridiculous. Good on you. I’m glad you informed everybdoy of the obvious.

  • dave

    nobody even cares what you have to say. do you really have nothing better to do then bore us all? Why don’t you do what everybody else does and kept your thoughts for your mates…..oh I see haha sorry lad you have no friends is that it? join a club maybe? 😉

  • ummm…

    Ah I see you respond feigning indifference after you continue to engage in conversation. Or, I failed to realize that you were always being sarcastic and therefore just should have disengaged. What comment of mine bothered you some much that it turned you into a t*rd?

  • dave

    yawn

  • Craig Pickersgill

    The 99p Mc menu is great value! Nike take a hike! Hehe

  • Michael

    I’ve got a spare vest Froomey can borrow.

  • addie Baaddiee

    Clothing manufacturer will be H&M, clothing may not be as cycling orientated, but going straight out on the piss in Paris after winning the TDF in 2016 will give SKY a marginal gain, as time is saved from bike to club as no change of clothing is required…………………… More to follow

  • addie Baaddiee

    VW are coming in to sponsors them ? Got a lot of surplus or something……………..

  • Gary Jogela

    I meant as in supply cycle wear clever bugger

  • Froomador

    Nothing to do with better offers or BS. Usually the retiring partner has either fulfilled objectives, budget restraints or new management who favor different activities.

    It’s also not a case of other companies beating the door down trying to get in, this is professional cycling we are talking about. SKY will struggle to find a replacement car company (they “request” 5-6 times as many cars as other teams)

  • J1

    Yes and their kit isn’t all black. They do a range of colours, the bright pink is errr…fetching. Looks a lot nicer than all that Fluro crap anyway.

  • J1

    Vulpine.

  • J1

    Adam Blythe has been wearing Nike shoes recently and he’s been terrible. Cursed!

  • J1

    Probably been offered better deals is all, all the BS when they announce a new partnership is just that, BS. It’s all about the money and what they can get, not all the “we strive for the same goals as the team blah blah blah” talk.

  • Ben Alexander

    again though I said sales…..nothing to do with profits, SALES.

    and comparing Rapha to Jaguar is a bit of a stretch.

    Rapha founded in 2004 with their biggest exposure coming via a very successful grand tour winning UCI team and Jaguar a luxury car brand that was founded close to 100 years ago, who were and have been established for a long time. not really the same is it?

  • Jaguar have pulled out too? Also they’ve dropped CNP in favour of SiS. Strange they’re changing so many partnerships in one go? Hardly good for their marginal gains?

  • Shrod

    I’d like to believe that, especially as someone that buys Rapha products despite the Team Sky association rather than because of it. or maybe there are lots of people like me and Rapha didn’t sell any Sky gear 😉

  • Froomador

    Not necessarily. Any drop in SKY related sales is probably matched by the saving from the cost of sponsorship (they supply a ridiculous amount of kit to the team).

    Jaguar have also pulled out of SKY (yet to be announced) but I don’t expect them to stop selling cars within 12 months

  • Froomador

    Can’t people just accept that Rapha has achieved what they wanted from the partnership and wish to move on?

  • Froomador

    Rapha’s recent fall in profits is largely due to expansion and additional staff recruitment in overseas markets, particularly in Asia. Not due to them selling less, they are just investing more.

  • Shrod

    I suspect that Sky have received a substantially better offer than Rapha could ever commit to. I expect Rapha-Sky deal was signed before Wiggos TdF win, and now as 3 time winners Team Sky can attract a lot more interest.

  • cxc

    Nike. The McDonalds of the sports fashion world. Hideous, overpriced tat. And that smug, meaningless, brain-dead “swoosh” thing that they plaster over everything makes me want to vomit.

  • bowwow rapha

    Lidl also sponsor the fishing team, bought their smoked salmon the udder they and it was half the price an’ jus’ as nice!!

  • TheBolt

    Lidl already sponsor Etixx-Quick Step, and Aldi the GB Olympic squad.

  • Simon Barnes

    one has to wonder if rapha’s recent fall in profits is linked to this decision….? just maybe Sky wouldnt commit to another four years sponsorship thereby undermining long term commercial returns for rapha…??

  • ummm…

    oh, then I suppose it is matter of interpretation. But, when somebody says a) nike may replace rapha b)nike was also a sponser of LA & USPS c) USPS are known as dopers c) this will add fuel to the conspiracy theorists, there is little room for other reasonable interpretations. Of course, have at it.

  • dave

    no I cant see it

  • ummm…

    ummm…Dan cole right above me. Am I blind or are you?

  • dave

    Who said anything about doping. Bore off already Ummm…

  • The Ashes Cricket

    I too suspect it’ll be Nike!

  • Gary Jogela

    Lidl or aldi?

  • Sheldon

    Over priced kit in dark colours, not for me thanks. Never had any of their kit, is it any good?

  • ummm…

    lol. conspiracy theorists? Only an uber Fred can find doping allegations/suspicions to be a conspiracy theory in cycling. Take your head out of the sand.

  • Cuore might be a good fit? (excuse the pun!)

  • Dan Cole

    or maybe the kiss of death supplier (nike in other words!) to confirm the worst fears of the anti-sky conspiracy theorists ….!

  • Ben Alexander

    Endura or back to Adidas would be my guess unless they go left field. don’t see vermarc stepping in

  • Ben Alexander

    it is, I have bought some Rapha stuff but only when it has been on sale. I have to say though it is very good.

  • Dan Cole

    bets on who will replace them? endura would be a good fit, even though they already supply movistar.

  • Lee Wingate

    agreed. kit is way too expensive.

  • Ben Alexander

    well i bet they will see a steady slump in their sales @ the end of 2016.