How much does it really cost to run a women’s cycling team?

Matrix Fitness Racing Academy team manager Stef Wyman says he has never seen women’s racing ‘in a better place’ and believes that women’s cycling is ‘getting there fast’ in terms of becoming as big as the men’s sport.

Meanwhile Nick Hussey, founder and Managing Director of British cycling company Vulpine who sponsor Matrix, says “women’s racing offers immense value on many levels for a potential sponsor” and, because of the enormous return it has created for the company, he is looking to “extend and increase involvement” with the team.

However, in order to fully enable women’s cycling to step up to a level playing field with the male scene, Hussey believes that companies should be shown what sponsors get for their money so that they can see how advantageous an investment in a team can be. “Nobody actually knows how much it costs to sponsor a cycling team,” he said.

So how much does it really cost to run a woman’s team? Here is their breakdown of different price brackets.

£250,000

– Total budget needed to set up and maintain a high-level professional team.

– Can take on up to two main partners – the names of which actually become the name of the team, which is unique in sport!

– Pays for a roster of 12 riders

– Access to the best women’s race on the calendar, such as the Giro d’Italia, Tour of Flanders and Flèche Wallone

– Excellent media coverage for sponsors: team cars and clothing covered with their logos and colours

– Perks for company employees: signed team jerseys, rides in the team car during races, maybe even a photo shoot with the team in your office.

£100,000

– On its own enough to create a world leading, though non-professional team. (The team manager can pay a minimum salary to riders so that they can concentrate on training, resting and racing. This would be a first for a non-professional team, but riders could well end up with a better deal than some big name professional teams have offered riders.)

– Pays for a roster of 8 riders

– Team could include mid-level professional races at home and abroad, including the Women’s Tour (‘of Britain’) that is scheduled to launch in 2014

– Lots of advantages for sponsors, but not quite as much as the full £250,000 package.

£50,000

– Co-title sponsorship of an amateur team

– Team can race the Women’s Tour – an event that is likely to be televised event and receive a lot of media exposure

– VIP opportunities and all the bonuses of the £100,000 sponsorship, but you would have to share the team title with another sponsor.

£25,000

– As the team would have to be non-professional, the team could split its naming rights more than just two ways.

– Corporate days with the team including rides from your company’s headquarters with the team cyclists.

– Full access to the team launch

– Use of the team at trade shows or events

£10,000

– Provision of a Rider Ambassador for your company

– Corporate days with the team for employees at special events

– Team jerseys and cars will have your logo printed on them.

£5,000

– Full Rider Ambassador package

– Targeted team and rider return and placement of your logo on team kit and vehicles.

“These numbers are exceptional value, for their return. Compared to men’s pro racing, these figures are tiny. Women’s racing is attracting far more attention than the pound signs would have us expect,” said Hussey.