If you have not read “The secret handshake for bicycle racing sponsorship in the U.S.” you’re missing out! This is an extremely valuable article explaining why the Nature Valley Valley Grand Prix and the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival have been extremely successful. David LaPorte, executive director, Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, explains how his event has successfully retained its title sponsor for over a decade by using cycling sponsorship of bicycle racing to help not only meet, but exceed Nature Valley’s objectives!

A few highlights from “The secret handshake for bicycle racing sponsorship in the U.S.”which jumped out at me:

Non-cycling industry companies don’t provide cycling sponsorship because they have a passion or interest in cycling. Companies sponsor cycling for business reasons and motivations. Sponsorship is an important tactic in a comprehensive strategy and marketing plan to drive sales, revenue and market share. Cycling sponsorship is an effective marketing platform for companies to reach their target audience, to attain greater visibility in existing or new market segments. Additional visibility gained through sponsorship drives awareness, which drives interest, which drives traffic to stores and websites, which drives sales and market share. Visibility also drives image for a company (Nature Valley = healthy nutrition alternatives) which can align with cycling’s demographic, and the demographic of consumers following cycling. This helps a company reshape the image of their brand, making it potentially appealing to a wider market segment (or, to a new market segment). This drives dollars!

So having a dominant team or an epic event won’t rake in the cash. If a sponsorship property doesn’t advance the marketing goals of the client, it’s toast. Or, more likely, it won’t have even gotten in the door in the first place.” Look at HTC-Highroad! They have been the most dominant team on the UCI circuit. They have won more races in the past three years than every other team, yet they may potentially lose HTC as their title sponsor. Cycling sponsorship is about delivering business value and helping a company meet their business goals and objectives (increasing sales, revenue, market share; penetrate new markets or segments; drive increases in brand recognition, brand loyalty; drive positive PR for their company/brand etc.). Clubs, teams and events must articulate how and why sponsorship will help achieve companies objectives.


For every dollar a company invests your club, team or event they expect to receive a tangible return on their investment —  increased traffic, increased brand awareness, increased sales, increased market share.

Cycling sponsorship has to deliver ROI for dollars invested. The sponsoring company wants to achieve their goals (increasing sales, revenue, market share; penetrate new markets or segments; drive increases in brand recognition, brand loyalty; drive positive PR for their company/brand etc.). A club, team or event can help companies achieve these goals through participation in events (races, rallies, charity rides, training rides), community involvement (cycling initiatives contribute to “green”, resolving transportation issues, health & wellness), communications (through a club/teams website, blogs, social media, newsletters, press releases, etc.). Activities as mentioned above help sponsoring companies become more visible and aid in reaching their audience. Companies sponsoring clubs or teams involved in community activities help demonstrate their support of important social  and community concerns; this in turn drives a positive image, recognition for their brand and potentially brand loyalty. The bottom line is cycling clubs, teams and events need to position themselves as platform to contribute to a sponsors’ business and PR objectives and philanthropic initiatives.

Thanks for visiting. Remember, until next time, “Keep the rubber side down!”

2 Responses to “Cycling Sponsorship for events: How to get it & keep it!”

  1. Jason (JDH) says:

    What are some of the reasons you feel HTC-Highroad may lose its title sponsor, HTC even with all the publicity around the teams finish line exposure—the HTC train and subsequent victories?

    Coach JDH

    • admin says:

      Great question. Too many people think cycling sponsorship is only about winning, podiums and a really cool team kit. Cycling sponsorship is a business which means companies expect a return on investment. A team can be very successful, yet not contribute to reaching the sponsors goals and objectives. I will be writing a post about this next week. Stay tuned.

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