The British Cycling national governing body yesterday (Sunday) announced that banking group HSBC will replace UK pay-television broadcaster Sky as its new lead partner from next year.
The eight-year deal will become effective on January 1 and will run until the end of 2024. The agreement covers the next two editions of the summer Olympic Games.
HSBC UK will work with British Cycling, as well as the Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling governing bodies, across all areas of the sport, from grassroots initiatives to elite-level events. HSBC said its aim is for two million people to have taken up cycling by 2020.
Free-to-enter mass participation events will be organised, along with a range of community-based initiatives to encourage people to take up cycling.
The partnership ties in with the government’s new Sporting Future initiative, which seeks to tackle the low levels of sports participation across the country.
“This is a huge moment for cycling in Great Britain,” British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said. “Working together with HSBC UK, we will provide the encouragement and opportunities to make cycling the most popular activity and sport of choice in Great Britain. We want to help transform an increasingly inactive and unhealthy nation through cycling.”
Sky partnered with British Cycling in 2008 and the body has gone on to enjoy unprecedented success, with Great Britain having picked up a combined total of 38 medals at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.
Sky will continue to support British UCI WorldTour outfit Team Sky and the talent development initiative, Sky Academy.