Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)
Dubai-based airline Emirates has made its first sponsorship investment in professional cycling by signing a four-year deal as co-title sponsor of the WorldTour cycling team formerly known as Lampre-Merida.
Swiss watchmaker Tissot has become the first brand to sign up to the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) fledgling World Cycling Partner programme but the federation will look outside its portfolio to fill the remaining slots.
Operating budgets for the professional cycling teams that compete on the UCI World Tour average out at between €12m to €15m with teams typically funding much of that total from title sponsors or co-title sponsors.
Performance bicycle manufacturer Bianchi is targeting a set demographic through its sponsorship deals with the UCI WorldTour Belkin Pro Cycling Team and UCI Continental Circuits Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela Team.
Russian online bank Tinkoff Credit Systems is expected to become lead partner of the newly-named Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team in a three-year deal, from 2014 to 2016, following the acquisition of the team this month by the bank’s majority shareholder Oleg Tinkov.