Jonathan Vaughters and Jeff Haden’s Inc. make a case for professional cycling as the best advertising and content marketing opportunity currently overlooked by major brands. Haden details the unique opportunity afforded to cycling’s title sponsors, which is unlike anything on offer elsewhere in sport and entertainment.
I’ve always been puzzled by why more companies don’t sponsor cycling teams. The audience is relatively engaged and affluent and the medium is far closer to content marketing — providing helpful, useful, interesting content that draws people to you — than advertising, which is at best ignored and at worst annoying.
For example, Coca-Cola is the “official soft drink” of the Washington Redskins. That gives Coke the exclusive soft drink rights within the stadium, place signage, and occupy a small square of real estate on the Redskins home page. In short, their sponsorship is purely an advertising play. The team isn’t called the Coca-Cola Redskins. The Coke logo doesn’t appear on jerseys.
Contrast that with cycling. For over a century cycling teams have been known by the name of their sponsor. Ask who reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome rides for and cycling fans say, “Team Sky.”
Sky, of course, being the British telecommunications giant.
The same is true for the Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling, the team founded and directed by Jonathan Vaughters, a former professional cyclist. (Cannondale is a bicycle manufacturer and Drapac Capital Partners is a property funds management business.) Cannondale-Drapac is owned by Slipstream Sports, but no one refers to the team that way: not television announcers, not reporters, not fans — no one.
And that means, during the Tour de France alone, the 12 million people who attend the Tour, and the hundreds of millions of viewers in 190 countries, will all see and hear and, in the U.S. at least, root for “Cannondale-Drapac.”
Continue reading over at Inc. here.