Skoda pulls on Tour de France green jersey

Czech automotive manufacturer Skoda has secured an agreement to replace French betting company PMU as the points classification jersey sponsor at cycling event the Tour de France.

PMU announced it would end a 25-year association with the iconic green jersey last November to focus on football sponsorship and Skoda takes on the designation, having partnered the white jersey – awarded to the leading young rider in the Grand Tour – for the past decade.

The terms of Skoda’s green jersey sponsorship were not disclosed, but it comes after the company signed a five-year agreement with Tour de France organiser Amaury Sports Organisation last year to remain as a top-tier sponsor for the race.

Skoda’s wide-ranging involvement in cycling also includes sponsorship of the green jersey in the Vuelta a Espana and the mountains jersey in the Tour of Britain.

Werner Eichhorn, Skoda’s director of sales and marketing, said: “By sponsoring the green jersey in the Tour de France and the Vuelta, we improve our visibility. The daily struggle for the title of best sprinter is one of the highlights of these two major cycling races.”

Cannondale’s Peter Sagan (pictured) won the green jersey competition at the 2014 Tour de France.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.