A recent article from Bloomberg.com deals with the value of cycling sponsorships and features latest insights from Repucom´s SportsDNA database as well as expert opinion from Repucom´s Ulrich Lacher.
Despite, or perhaps even because of all the doping problems, cycling now offers sponsors more possibilities than ever,” Van den Wall Bake said in a phone interview. “If you compare cycling to other sponsorship properties, then cycling offers still a lot of value for money, particularly if you are a company with a strong focus on Europe because everyone has heard of the Tour.”
The 101st event was won yesterday by Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana team, which is bankrolled by the Samruk-Kazyna sovereign wealth fund of Kazakhstan. The Tour is known by half the people on the planet, while 88 percent of Europeans are aware of it, according to sports consultancy and market researcher Repucom. One-fifth of all Europeans take part in cycling, the same proportion that plays soccer.
88% of all Europeans are aware of the Tour de France
Van den Wall Bake was one of the creators of the Rabobank Groep cycling team. The Dutch lender spent 15 million euros ($20.1 million) a year on the sport and withdrew from cycling in 2012 in the wake of the Armstrong cheating scandal. Deutsche Telekom AG ended its $18 million annual sponsorship of the T-Mobile team in 2007, also because of doping.
Cycling sponsorships offer consistent TV coverage across Europe
“Cycling is one of the few platforms that offers consistent free-to-air television coverage across Europe,” Ulrich Lacher, a director at Cologne-based sports marketing researcher Repucom, said in a phone interview.
Sponsoring a Tour de France team may be more interesting for smaller companies, Lacher added.
“The problem is not so much the doping — which you have in other sports as well — it’s the way it was handled by the parties that were involved with cycling, from the teams to the race organizers to the cycling body UCI,” Lacher said. “They didn’t have a very good crisis management and that intensified the problem.”
That led to larger companies “staying away from cycling because it was too risky, and instead going for a safer option such as soccer or Formula One.”
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