Telecommunications company Sky has said that it will continue to support cycling through to the end of 2017 ‘and beyond’.
The company is best known in cycling circles for its sponsorship of the eponymously-named WorldTour team, which it has been involved with since its debut in the 2010 season. Sky also currently sponsors British Cycling, but this deal will draw to a close at the end of 2016 after an eight-year partnership.
To underline Sky’s commitment to continue supporting cycling, the company recently launched its ‘Sky Loves Cycling’ campaign across multi-media and social media. It released a short promotional video on Thursday packed full of the cycling stars and events associated with the brand.
“The new brand campaign celebrates Sky’s role in transforming cycling across the UK and the impact this has had on British culture,” said Ian Murray, head of brand, cycling and Team Sky. “Our commitment to the sport will continue into 2017 and beyond with Team Sky and other partnerships.”
Team Sky’s annual budget is said to be around £24million, the majority of which is in rider salaries. Tour de France champion Chris Froome earns around £3million per year.
Sky has said that the advertising value they get back coverage given by the team is worth over £500million.
The team is perceived in the sport to have set a new standard in terms of its business model and the way that it has approached racing, its well-known ‘marginal gains’ concept being now widely used by other squads. It won the Tour de France with Bradley Wiggins in 2012, and Froome in 2013 and 2015.
Cycling team sponsorship – and sports sponsorship in general – can be less than stable. Swiss WorldTour team IAM Cycling announced earlier this week that it will not continue past the 2016 season due to lack of sponsorship.
The Tinkoff team, owned and sponsored by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, will also stop at the end of the season as Tinkov says he is withdrawing from cycling sponsorship.
In addition to team sponsorship and its funding of British Cycling, Sky has also been involved with the Sky Ride mass participation events.
The official statement for the ‘Sky Loves Cycling’ campaign reads: “Britain’s most successful Olympic team in the last decade, three Tour de France wins and we’ve got over 1.7 million people on their bikes. What a ride it’s been so far.”