American camera company looking to move into pro cycling with deals to mount their cameras on bikes at the Tour de France next year
On-bike camera footage has become somewhat of a fashion in 2014, with Shimano leading the way so far having had cameras mounted on bikes at the UCI Road World Championships this year as well as other races including the Tour de France.
While it isn’t possible to broadcast the footage live to TV audiences yet, the footage is subsequently uploaded to the internet has proved incredibly popular, as it offers cycling fans a chance to get a closer look at the action.
GoPro has traditionally stuck to extreme sports as focus for its market, but the proven popularity of on-bike footage has led the California based company to try and get their cameras on bikes for the year’s three grand tours.
UCI president Brian Cookson has consistenly been in support of innovating the way cycling is broadcast and viewed, saying earlier this year: “One of the biggest challenges – not just for cycling, but for many sports – is the need to evolve while staying true to the essence of your sport.
“In cycling we will look at technology such as cameras on bikes and in team cars to see how they can be used to enhance the viewer experience.”
Currently, cycling teams receive no money from TV broadcasting rights, but producing their own footage could help teams generate other revenue aside from their main sponsorship deal.
It ties in with new group Velon which launched in November, in which the collective of 11 WorldTour teams aim to make cycling economically stronger and stable for teams. Revenues from rights of on-bike camera footage and generating other new broadcasting technologies is a large part of Velon’s aims.
GoPro will face stiff competition with other companies to get their cameras on bikes however, as Shimano, who already have made a significant impact in parnership with the UCI, and Garmin who have already have part title sponsorship of a team for 2015.
Source: Bloomberg News