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Report

December 2017

Partners: Researchers: Interviewee:


About the
Team

Joel Anderson

Brandon Kern

Estelle Li

Rebeka Tunegova

Assignment
Technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, changing the way sports
fans consume media. Rights holder must adapt to the changing media
in order to survive. Right holders have to have a better understanding of
their audience. They have to know their audience increasing the impact
they are having on them and find ways to increase audience engage-
ment. Being able to successfully identify and reach their digital audience
will give them an advantage over their competitors. This report develops
looks at an overviw of the brand, new technologies, and the implications
of innovations on their sponsorship model.

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Table of
Contents

Executive Summary ............ ......................................................................... . 4

Introduction ............ ......................................................................... . 6

Methodology ............ ......................................................................... . 7

Brand Ecosystem ............ ......................................................................... . 8

Innovation Ecosystem ............ ......................................................................... . 10

Partners & Sponsors ............ ......................................................................... . 12

Conclusion ............ ......................................................................... . 15

References ............ ......................................................................... . 16

Appendicies ............ ......................................................................... . 20

TOUR DE FRANCE 3
Executive
Summary

Tour de France: Methodology:

Race: 21 stages, 3,540 km., 4 Desk research


shirts (GC, green, polka, white)
Brand overview
Fans: Aging, mostly male, Euro-
pean. 12 million at roadside Semi-structured interview

Broadcasters: €38,5 m 2020-23 Innovations ecosystem mapping


cycle, 190 countries (60 live)
New sponsorship model
Teams: Overly sponsor reliant

Riders: Eurocentric participants

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Innovation Recommendations: Sponsorship Recommendations:

Login for free web/ app service Fewer sponsors & partners

Improve data visualisations More structured with internation-


al Club sponsors
Enable 360* replays/highlights
Use Vizrt Eclipse for personalisa-
More GoPros on bikes tion to region/ country

User self-selection of cameras

Create eSport competition

Combine eSport and VR for ride


‘in’ peleton with handicap

TOUR DE FRANCE 5
Introduction

Cycling is a sport built on tradition. It began as a way for manufacturers to promote their products as best in
industry. Since the Tour de France’s inception in 1903, it has long been regarded as the pinnacle of the sport
(letourfr, 2017). Amaury Sport Organisation’s (ASO) event can boast being the world’s largest annual event,
with not only millions of television and online viewers, but drawing roughly 12 million fans from all over the
world to stand at the side of the road and watch the peleton pass (Veloncc, 2017). The Tour together with
Giro d’Italia and Vuelta d’Espana form the Grand Tours, to which the most prestige and focus is given each
season. Teams and riders participating in these events have the opportunity to earn more points than in
other races in the UCI rankings (UCI, 2017).

The 22 participating teams each bring 9 riders, although there is normally only one General Classification
contender, which the other riders support. They ride the 3,540 km course over 21 stages with just 2 rest
days (letourfr, 2017). It is a test of speed and endurance, as the riders are tested in all disciiplines; time trials,
sprints and climbs. As well as the overall lowest time (General Classificaiton), awards are given to individ-
uals excelling in the climbing stages or gaining points for sprinting, and to the best young rider who are
recognisable with coloured shirts whilst racing.

From 1 July to 23 July 2017, the course ran from Düsseldorf, Germany, through Belgium, Luxembourg, and
the final stages lead the peleton to Paris, France. Chris Froome of Team Sky won the illustrious yellow jer-
sey for a second year running with a time of 86h 20’ 55”, winning €500,000 (letourfr, 2017). The total prize
pot is around €2,500,000. This is dwarfed by the prizes of €100 m for winning UEFA Champions League
(Totalsportekcom, 2017).

The fans of cycling are aging, and due to the time consuming nature of the sport, needs to undergo changes
to better engage its fans who stand at the side of the road as well as those watching at home. This shows
how the sport, despite its large viewership has not taken advantage of its position as most prestigious event
on the racing calendar. As the sport is platform for manufacturers to display their superior designs, and
sponsors to be seen by millions, both at the roadside and on TV, the sport is about to undergo large changes
as it modernises.

Due to its nature of covering large distances, rather than a stadium based event, sponsors were quickly
attracted to the sport. Unique to cycling, teams take the names of their head sponsors who require them to
participate in as many races as possible. Sponsors account for approx. 75% of a team’s budget (Inrng, 2017),
which emphasises the reliance on closing these deals. The TdF, as an international event, has always faced
the challenge of balencing French and International sponsors. However, with new technologies explored in
this report this no longer has to be the case and can be capitalised on fully.

The rise of OTT broadcasting, combined with innovation opportunities, are set to have a huge impact on
TdF. This research looks further at what the trends are, as well as which technologies to invest in, and a new
sponsorship model in order to better engage fans.

6 TOON SQUAD
Methodology

Desk Interview Sponsorship


Research model

Brand Innovations
overview ecosystem

This research consists of two parts. Part one is the desk research which considers the event as a brand. The
researchers reviewed multiple industry reports, news articles, and statistics published by ASO. This pro-
vided a foundation of knowledge of the event upon which all recommendations are based on. Considering
each stakeholder seperately, such as TV audience, broadcasters, teams, riders etc., a more in depth under-
standing of them and their relationships can be taken into account. These findings were then summarised
and a brand ecosystem was produced graphically.

The researchers also analysed the sports tech industry for innovations being implemented outside of cy-
cling. Although it may be too soon to see these as cases of best practise, knowing the possilbilities and how
they’ve used these to better engage fans is a basis which ASO can build on when implementing these for
themselves.

Part two is a semi-structured interview. The research team found this structure beneficial because while
it followed a list of questions room was given to explore interesting topics further. Once this point would
become exhausted, the researchers could then refer back to the core question list once more (Qualresorg,
2017). The interview was conducted with Velon’s Luke McLaughlin. Velon is an organisation representa-
tive of 10 World Tour teams, responsible for developing their commercial opportunities. His role there is
primarily as a reporter, requiring in-depth knowledge of the sport and dynamics within it.

McLaughlin was selected by non-probability convenience sampling. This opportunistic method was cho-
sen due to ease and availability however his industry knowledge was deemed to outweigh the negative ef-
fect on representativeness (Research-methodologynet, 2017). Using desk research and an interview gives
the research high validity as the research is fact based, especially interviewing a cycling expert.

Once the brand analysis was completed, tech innovations reviewed, and an interview conducted, the re-
searchers made suggestions of new innovations which could be introduced in order to be better engage the
cycling fans. Finally, the effect of these innovations and the trend towards OTT broadcasting were consid-
ered as to their effect on partnerships and sponsorships. Key recommendations were then formulated for
new innovations to be incorporated in the sport and a potential new sponsorship model.

The research’s reliability could have been developed further by conducting multiple interviews until data
saturation occurred. Interviewing sponsorship, event management, or technology experts would have of-
fered differing perspectives, however the study was limited by time constraints.

TOUR DE FRANCE 7
Brand
Ecosystem
Current sitiuation | Recommendation Current sitiuation | Recommendation

Innovation
Bikes Dimension Data

Ecosystem
Similarly to Formula 1, a TdF rider can gain a Data is the latest buzzword in sport. Dimension Data tracks: wind, weather, GPS (location, elevation, speeds),
competitive advantage depending on the new cadence and more. In 2015, there were 75 million GPS readings and 350 million CPU cycles per second to
innovations making the bike increasingly aero- collate and analyse the data (Dimensiondatacom, 2017). Once the data goes from the bike to the cloud, via
dynamic (Roadcyclingukcom, 2017). The bikes the DD truck on-site, broadcasters can show the data.However, data visualisation in a clean and meaningful
are made of the lightest carbon fibre and the way is where the current limitation lies.
aerodynamic designs are ever improving. In
2017, the introduction of electronic gearing and More emphasis should be undertaken in displaying this data live rather than post-race as an infogrpahic
disc brakes helped riders to perform at a high- or simple list, building on F1’s best practise. The TdF would benefit from expanding the number of riders
er level, contributing directly to at least 3 stage tracked to all riders, and agreeing with the teams about how much to make available for fans wanting to
wins (Cyclingweeklycom, 2016). compare watts outputs with their favourite rider. This would need to be negotiated as riders may or may not
wish their data to be published, and would require TdF to own the data of the riders, rather than the teams.
This will naturally progress as engineers im-
prove designs. In 2018 bikes will have wireless o
electronic gearing and ever-improved frame e o p le have to .
ary, if p it
eir spir thing
and wheel designs.
a r e q uite we asier to hit th perfor- fo r... the
h e y it e e ir a s k g...
o m e riders,
t
in g t o make t o a n alyze t
h
t fa n s always really stunnin oard
“ S g o ple h a all y nb
Helmets u c h d ata, it is n’t want peo .” o n b o ard is w ictures are re landscape... o
m do nd “Live the p d the
e they he seco cling is e scenery an
Becaus ke down to t it h c y
s li w ains th l”
The Scott Cadence Plus helmet is the ‘fastest’ helmet on the market mance t h e mount the next leve
e l o n e it t o
and increases head protection. It was used in the TdF by Team Ori- lin, V will tak
m c Laugh
ca-Scott (Attah, 2016). Lu k e elon
c L a u ghlin, V
GoPro Luke m
Cycling helmets are slowly becoming smart. The LINX helmet allows
riders to take calls, listen to music and navigate (Wheeler, 2016). These
could be optimised for TdF riders, who could use these to not only im- Often the most attractive footage during TdF comes from its on-board
prove safety but its integrated microphone/headset features to speak GoPro cameras, allowing viewers to watch from ‘inside’ the peleton.
to their team managers. Currently 1 rider per team has a camera fitted to their bike.

As well as fitting cameras to all bikes, creating 360* highlights from with-
in the peleton would be the next stage in this. This is already being done
Glasses in horseriding and NFL, BT Sport, NBA All-star game, and 2018 Olym-
pics are already launching this, so the tech is readily available (Bradley,
Current glasses are for the sole purpose of anti-glare and to stop ir- 2017). It would also allow viewers to press a ‘red button’ to choose their
ration through wind in the eyes. camera and watch from multiple riders’ perspectives, similar to F1.

Solo and the US Olympic cycling team teamed up to give riders


glasses that displayed data. Heart rate, speed, power, pace and dis- Virtual Reality
tance was all displayed to the riders (Kurnentz, 2016). TdF riders
could view their own data dashboards through their glasses, adjust- TdF currently has no VR capabilities.
ing perfrormances as necessary.
VR headsets could be used to view the 360* immersion experience in
the peleton. . This is an extension of the GoPro expansion.

Website & App eSports

Both the app and website allow users to watch highlights and behind the scene The TdF has an officla video game where riders compete in the races.
footage. They post daily course previews, interviews, highlights, and post-race
content. With a few clicks, users can find their way to tourist information and This venture should be left, and emphasis turned to Zwift. In this gaming platform, riders
other useful information about visting the event. actually pedal through the courses on their indoor trainer (Sumner, 2017). The courses
could be uploaded, and an eSport community/ competition created. This would better
One simple trick which TdF are missing out on: login. Even if the data is to be kept engage current fans and potentially attract new fans, as well as having the possibility
freely available, knowing who the viewers are, their favourite team/rider, and of being licenced into a competition for money-can’t-buy prizes. Using Dimension Data,
viewing preferences is extra data which can be used to promote ads or content there could be a ‘ride with the pros’ possibility. This could also be linked to the 360* VR
more likely to resonate with the audience. headset, as with handicaps like in golf riders could compete whlist ‘in’ the peleton.

10 TOON SQUAD TOUR DE FRANCE 11


Partners &
Sponsorship

Sponsors
Event sponsorship involves the investment
from a company, creating a relationship with
the brand (Koronios et al. 2016). They are more
likely to invest in sports which will improve its
image, however the scandals within cycling
occur annually, and now with mechanical dop-
ing as well as biological. This provides the first
stumbling block, as these negative connota-
tions of cheating can become associated with
the brand itself (Keller 1993). Although cycling
offers a 5.4x ROI for its sponsor (Kyle, 2013),
the benefits of sponsoring such a widely seen
sport extend to brand awareness and eventual-
ly profit increases (Amis et al. 1997).

Fan Engagement

Engagement comes as a result of interacting with the consumer, instigating prosocial behaviour (de Ruyter
& Wetzels, 2000). Fans move through the ‘funnel’ which goes from; Awareness, to Attraction, to Attach-
ment, to Allegiance. Cycling can still be seen in the first two stages. Cycling teams take the sponsors’ name,
and on branding at site, the website, and given a place in the TdF caravan. Although their logo is seen ev-
erywhere, there is little in the form of engagement to build that relationship with the fan to get them to the
more lucrative Allegiance (loyalty) stage.

Tour’s Club
(avg value €3.5 million)
Current TDF sponsorship structure: (avg value less than €250k)

TdF sponsors become a part of the event


(Kamel, 2015). The names of sponsors are
mentioned throughout the duration of the Technical partners
(avg value €100k as value-in-kind)
race and become associated with the iden- (avg value €1-1.5 million)
tity of the event (Millar, 2017).

Current sponsorship model of Tour de


France consists of 5 Club Partners, 10 offi-
cial Partners, 15 official suppliers, 4 media
Partners and 6 technical partners (LeTourfr, (avg value €300 - 500k)
Institutional Partners
2017).

The main part of sponsorship deal is that official sponsors provide supplies needed for the realization of the
event and are directly involved in its organization. Partners and sponsors can have a spot in the publicity
caravan, providing some entertainment for the audience as they drive past before the race (Roethenbaugh,
2016). Other assets include: leaders’ jerseys, on-site branding and arches, temporary barriers, web, social
media, smartphone presence, and more.

This idea of showing the logo as a badge is simply outdated, promoting awareness. There is little associa-
tion with the brand beyond recieving a free give-away. Creating a large hub or fanzone would greaten the
engagement time between sponsors and fans, giving an opportunity to engage with the fans similar to F1.
This memory and positive emotion associated with this hub is the first step in moving from awarenss (a
badge) to allegiance. This is already done with some screens, although there is no activation by brands. It is
simply a missed opportunity to be expanded upon and capitalised on.

12 TOON SQUAD
New Opportunities

The use of new technologies, such as OTT media, can facilitate the process of sponsorship customiza-
tion and lead to more sponsorship opportunities, as well as increased value for brands.

LED boards already have apresence in advertising and sponsorship


inl football games. The Vizrt Eclipse technology allows for these to be
personalised by region . Watching in Asia gives a different image to
Europe or South America. As not all brands that are the main Tour de
France sponsors are present globally, application of this technology
portrays an opportunity to enlarge current Tour de France sponsor-
ship structure. LED advertising boards can be virtually modified by
broadcasters. That way advertising logo or message can be present
not only in different language, but also in respect of the particular
country where the Tour is broadcasted. LED boards can be applied
to start and finish arches, temporary barriers or ceremony podiums.

The use of this technology portrays a game-changing opportunity


to target sponsorship to specific country or region and that way pro-
vide new sponsorship opportunities for more brands, but also spe-
cific targeting as a part of current sponsorship deals. For example,
Tissot’s watch adverts could show female watches for females, and
male watches for males with this technology. With increased effec-
tiveness, the price of this advertising/ sponsorship would rise.

In the future this technology will find its way on to social media.
With around 6.5 million social media followers (Letourfr, 2017), they
will be able to further monetise their reach by offering better tar-
getted ads than ever before. Live data or behind the scenes footage
would track which rider is your favourite, and show that data. The
broadcast is becoming more personalised, connecting the fans and
improving fan engagement. The increased involvement of fans is
claimed to enforce more favourable reactions to sponsorship com-
pared to not involved fans (Olson, 2010).

rship
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h
c h . S o , it mak ccessing pe ntial to y c a ra
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n come an Because, y therefore yo o u g h, the p e car manuf
e c a t. t h r t h usly
“Anyon ity and asse there, and s roadside.“
o
e ra c e comes t e r , S koda - d t h e y obvio ut
fore th a ce. An give o
opport
un o be
oney t ed really... on
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e n d m “As, be e Vittel, Vitte Tour de Fran ee hats, they
don’t p tuff is unlimit lik
brands sponsor of th hey give out
e fr
to them
.”
a t e s g e s . T ig w in
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Luke m brande
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c L a u ghlin, V
Luke m

TOUR DE FRANCE 13
New sponsorship structure

Based on customised and tailored brand visibility, through application of new technologies, the TdF spon-
sorship model could be expanded. The current sponsorship model has a surplus of sponsors, which is de-
creasing the value of the sponsorship. In this new model, there will be fewer sponsorship places available
which will increase the value of being a sponsor and allow for sponsors to make a greater impact.

Along with the increasing the value of the sponsorship, the new model will also make it more international.
At the moment sponsorship for the TdF is dominated by French companies. These make up the majority of
the TdF Club, although in this new model global companies will replace them. Instead these will find their
place as partners or even regional partners.

Although this new model is suited to international companies, regional companies will be represented as
well. To avoid conflict with existing sponsorships a new hierarchy of sponsorship will allow for new regional
sponsors to become part of this global pro cycling event, as well as provide significant return on investment
for these brands. In this new model sponsorships slots for Europe will be in high demand. If the demand be-
comes excessive the model has the flexibility to open up new slots to fill the demand. However, in areas like
Asian & North America, if a regional sponsorship can’t get filled, the sponsorship shown on-screen would
be filled with a Club sponsorship on a flexible rate. This new sponsorship model will help transition the sport
from a French event with international appeal to a truly international event.

6
ASO | Tour Club

8
Partners & Sponsors

Technical Media Institutional


partners partners Partners

20
Regional sponsors

North & Central


France Europe South America Africa & Middle East Asia
America
Caravan

14 TOON SQUAD
Conclusion

In conclusion, the purpose of this report is to attract more sponsors and increasing both
potential audiences and fan engagement. The team created a new sponsorship structure created,
and used some new technologies to enhance the Tour de France. The new technologies are used in
two main areas. The first one is aimed at bicycle equipment and the riders. The continuous development
and improvement of technology will allow bicycle hardware to continuously improve. New technology is
turning traditional brakes into disc brakes, helmets are increasing rider safety along with answering phone
calls. Eyewear is being developed which can display athlete data such as heart rate, speed, and strength.

Then there is technology that benefits the audience. VR is used to let people have more special and un-
forgettable experiences. For example, creating a VR experience for the user by using Go-Pro both on the
bike and on the side of the road. Then an user can combine this experience with their own bike and take the
experience to another level. They participate with their favorite rider on any stage. In addition to VR adding
small Go-Pro cameras on the bike can be used in the Tour de France. It will provide a user with different
camera angles to choose from when watching a cyclist’s performance. Similarly the Tour De France, Go
Pro and VR cooperation can give viewers the wonderful playback of the race in 360 allowing them to see
the surrounding environment. Along with giving a user more camera angles Zwift partnership with Tour De
France will take the Tour de France to the Esport scene.

Dimension data also will be used to record the data of riders. Linking this data with website or Apps, will
give user’s the ability to track their favorite rider. Along those same lines, the team recommends the Tour de
France add a log in page on both their website and their app to track their user’s. This will benefit the Tour
de France because they will have a better understanding of their audience.

The team believes with these recommendations the Tour de France can transform from an regional event
to a global one.

#
Executive summary: 107
Introduction: 560
Methodology: 409
Brand ecoystem: 100
Innovaiton ecosystem: 800
Partners & Sponsors: 1176
Conclusion: 360

Word Count
Total: 3512

TOUR DE FRANCE 15
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Totalsportek2, T.S. 2017. Sports Business Cycling Report. [Online]. [13 December 2017]. Available from:
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gweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/how-much-money-riders-win-tour-de-france-254417

18 TOON SQUAD
Partners: Researchers:
Appendicies
Questions

Interview Questions

Past experience of TdF

1. Have you attended Tour de France? What was your opinion?


2. How have you seen Tour de France sponsorship grow in your time at Velon?
3. Cycling is amazing at awareness for sponsors but does little to engage their audience.
4. Has having hubs helped with engagement?
a. Overall opinion of the hubs?
b. What can be improved with the hubs?
5. Link to fan engagement model. Are the sponsors satisfied with just being seen? Is the caravan
enough or do they want more?

New tech impact on sponsorship


1. Ideas to develop sponsorship model from static to dynamic.
2. 80% French viewership, 20% global. Balance not necessary with tech.
a. Barriers + arches changing per continent/ country/ personalised
i. On-site. France. Europe. …
b. With monopoly of event organisers/ ASO > how much will team’s benefit?
3. OTT media and tracking > personalisation of ads/ sponsorship. Line blurred in future.
a. ASO willingness to be innovative in traditional sport?
4. New UCI president focusing on mechanical doping + bio doping + smaller squads > extent of impact
on sponsorship deals?
a. Supposedly 0 tolerance but exceptions >> devaluing sport + sponsorship deals.

Data and tech


1. Are you using Dimension Data’s data or tracking it yourself?
2. What feedback have you had on the Velon data?
3. How can it be improved?
4. What data do people want to see?
5. What’s the biggest challenge for you in terms of tracking and displaying data?
6. Is there any new technology or tracking coming in 2018?
7. What about the future of cycling technology excites you the most?
a. Choosing camera angles like F1
b. Raptor glasses and horse-riding camera angles
c. VR and Zwift
d. Any other trends in tech to be implemented in 2018? Or would be cool to see in future?
8. How is the working between Velon and ASO?
9. How else can Velon bring value to ASO, indirectly to sponsorship?

20 TOON SQUAD
Transcript
NAME: Quote:
GROUP Introducing by saying names and studies
LUKE Hi, nice to meet you all!
JOEL Do you just want to say your name and what you do Luke? Is that alright?
LUKE Yes, so Luke is my name and I work for Velon, so on pro cycling. I work on websites, social media
for Velon, so a lot of pro bike racing.
JOEL Cool! So just as an introduction. We’re just obviously all students of Loughborough University in
London. Three of us do Sport Business Masters and Estelle is doing Innovation in Organizations. So, we
look a lot at new technologies and how they can be implemented in sport and that kind of thing. And this is
a project where, students from each discipline at university come together and sort of look at a case study,
and we’ve chosen to do Tour de France.
LUKE Okay!
JOEL So, we are just looking at some of your views of cycling in general and of Tour de France. And just
you know, your insight is helpful to get that inside view.
LUKE Sure! No problem! I’m happy if I can help.
JOEL We’re probably going to talk to Team Sky, and talk to a few companies as well. So, it’s going to be
quite a few big companies, which we’re speaking to. Which, is nice to get an insight.
LUKE Perfect! That’s very good.
JOEL So, have you been to Tour de France? Have you attended it?
LUKE I have, a few times. I haven’t worked on the Tour with Velon just yet, but I’ve been to the Tour many
times.
JOEL And, how long have you been into cycling?
LUKE In road cycling, specifically since 2008. 2009 was the first time I went and attended the Tour de
France, but I’ve been a keen, like cyclist myself since about 2008. And I’ve been working specifically at
cycling since 2012.
JOEL So, you know fair a bit, though.
LUKE Yeah, I hope so! I mean I work certainly on the sporting site, and I do know quite a bit from business
site as well, but being a journalist of a sporting site is big. But then with Velon, I mean Velon is about the
technology as well as about covering the races and you know, covering the sporting site as well. So, it’s a
combination.
JOEL So, we fast ask you some questions about sponsorship, about Tour de France in general. And then
we’ll tell you some of the new technologies that we’ve been looking into and how they can be used, and
then your opinion on you know, how they can benefit the sport and view from your side, from Velon’s
perspective.
ESTELLE Do you think having a sport “hubs” can help with the fan engagement?
LUKE Sorry, having the what?
JOEL Well, there are some “hubs” along the way for Tour de France.
LUKE Alright!
JOEL Because, when we studied sport and sponsorship, we see that awareness is kind of the lowest
level of sponsorship and obviously Tour de France is the biggest annual event, I mean it’s the third biggest
after the World Cup and the Olympics. So, the biggest sporting event that there is, just because it’s seen
by so many people. Like, 12 million just stand alongside of the roads for each event. And, do you think that
these “hubs” will help with engaging with this audience and not just being seen by the audience, mainly
for sponsors?
LUKE So, when you say “hubs”, do you mean like fan zones?
JOEL Yes.

TOUR DE FRANCE 21
LUKE Like a sponsorship “hubs”. I mean, first thing I want to say. The first time you go to the Tour de
France. Em, I hope I am answering your question. The publicity caravan at the Tour is obviously a huge
thing. People who have never been to the Tour, don’t realise it’s there. As, before the race comes through,
the publicity caravan with brands like Vittel, Vittel the water, Skoda - the car manufacturer, huge sponsor
of the Tour de France. And they obviously give out their products. They give out free hats, they give out
branded stuff, which is definitely a big win to them in terms of sponsorship. But, specifically on the “hubs”
and the fan zones, yes again, definitely it’s a big advantage of sponsors as, so for instance Skoda, I know
give out free hats at the Tour de France, which works really well. Because, especially when it’s hot, Skoda
will give you a hat that you can wear and then obviously, you have got 3000 people wearing Skoda hats
all watching the Tour de France.
JOEL Yes!
LUKE So, for sure it’s incredibly effective. And activating the sponsorship by just giving out free samples
or in this case Skoda giving out hats, it’s definitely a huge benefit to the sponsors. And then of course, the
thing that makes cycling unique, is the, unless you sell VIP tickets or... you don’t sell them to the Tour, you
don’t sell tickets to the Tour. Anyone can come and watch. So, it makes it unique sponsorship opportunity
and asset. Because, you’re accessing people who don’t spend money to be there, and so therefore your
potential to activate stuff is unlimited really. When you look at the millions of people or virtually when you
think about how many millions of people actually watch the Tour de France on the roadside.
JOEL Yes, that is one of the reasons why we chose it, because it’s quite unique and that it’s free and
there are so many people who watch it. More people will see it live, like more than 60 times people will
see it live. So, that’s one of the reasons why we chose it. But those “hubs”, we’d still, I think as academ-
ics, we’d still class that giving away a free thing, is a pretty low level of engagement. So, there are a lot of
ways, that they can improve these fan zones, isn’t it? A lot of room for growth. I mean, when you look at
other sports, F1 for example, they have got very big plans to make their fan zones, they want to make their
events into big parties, with fashion and music and not just about the sport. And that’s one of those thing
that they can do with Tour de France, to be bringing some other... You know, if they pay for some music
and pay for some things, it will be brining fans that are not necessarily there just for cycling, but for the
music as well. Do you see what I mean?
LUKE Yes, for sure! I mean, that’s, I think, you know cycling in particular is very often about having a
festival attached to the event as well. So, for instance, 6-day racing, I’ve been to 6-day event in Germany,
where the riders almost like have been a small part of it and the club and the music and everything is like
a big part of it. But, to get back to the Tour de France, I mean, yes, for sure, the whole, I suppose the whole
concept of the Tour, when you go you want to stand and particularly in the smaller towns and villages, you
know the Tour is a big. It’s like street parties, big public party and I think it all taps into that in a way that it is
all marketing as well. It’s about like spending the day, because the atmosphere of the thing is obviously...
about the race, a lot of people kind of laugh that people spend 6 hours standing by the road, watching the
bikes go past and that lasts like 10 seconds. But, of course it’s much more, the day is about much more
than that. You know, enjoying the day with your friends and family and this is the whole part of the atmo-
sphere.
JOEL You were quite positive about the Tour giving out the water and Skoda giving out the hats and
everything, do you think that sponsors are happy with that? I mean, do you think they want more? Or do
you think they are happy with the way it is now?
LUKE Well, I mean, I think to be honest quite interesting with the Tour de France as I know that IMG
looking, looked at this few years ago. And they looked at it quite closely, and they looked at the way they
market and activate everything. And they actually believe that they could very significantly improve the
amount of money that the event makes, so. But, I can’t answer your question as I can’t tell you as directly
whether or not sponsors are happy. But, I do think that big name sponsors definitely, I would suggest that
they are getting a good return on their investment in terms of sponsorship. But, obviously that is a guess
and I can’t really speak for those brands, you know personally.
JOEL We were looking kind of into new technologies and one of the really cool ones we’ve found was
to do with branding, and something that can be used for branding and for like the barriers and the arches.
Rebeka was looking into that so she’s going to ask about it.
REBEKA Yes, actually, we would like to have your point of view about like personalised arches and
barriers, probably on the start and finish of the race. What do you think about it? Would it be beneficial or
attractive for sponsors?

22 TOON SQUAD
LUKE Hugely, yes. Particularly, I think that. Well, cycling is quite interesting case in terms of a visibility,
or how branding is visible on different part of the race. So, for sure, branding of a finish arch or branding
on the finish tray is extremely effective. Because, obviously if you have images of the finish of the race,
and you have obviously a highly replayed footage across programmes, it’s often of the race ‘finishing. So,
if you can have branding visibility there, that’s going to be hugely effective. But then, so I’ll give you an
example of the race I worked on, in the middle of London at Spitalfields market, and it’s very interesting
when you look at how it used to do the TV, because there are certain points on the course, that branding
will be very prominent due to TV highlights. So, for instance when you cut the event together to 60 min-
utes TV show, all those different races, let’s say we had 10 races across the day. There will be a couple of
key corners in those races where, whoever gets the brand on that corner is going to get massive, massive
boost to the effectiveness of their branding. And it might be quite an unimportant place in terms of the
race, but it will be where that TV production want to put their camera. Obviously, that is a huge thing to
bear in mind, if you want to give the visibility to your sponsors and you want to make sure that they are
happy with what they get. So, for instance Rapha, it was actually called the Rapha corner on that race,
and it was all Rapha branded and it made for...you had a big crowd there and you had Rapha branding all
along the corner. So, it was all photographers taking pictures around that corner and it was super effective
for Rapha. But, sorry getting back to your initial question, yes, I think the start and the finish definitely, I
would say finish much more than start, is much more effective as that is where. So, for instance, if Peter
Sagan wins the stage or Cavendish or whoever, that picture, those videos or that photo will go all around
the world. In case of Tour de France, it will be picked up by news agences, picked up by photo agences, TV
news, everywhere.
JOEL We are looking a lot of OTT media, for example, if you login or register on websites link to your
Facebook account, they know a quite lot about you. On the other trend with technologies, what’s coming
into football, and it’s be trailed, it’s very well laid out, we found the barriers side of the road. But for exam-
ple, when you look at a football page with TV production, you can put overlay out. So, what do you see in
the stadium, is different with what people see on the TV? And taking a step further, you can have a differ-
ent sponsorship on-site, when you watch in the Europe, or in the South of America, we are expanding this
sponsorship model from the key French sponsors, you only have your logo on the French broadcasting,
but people at home will see the different sponsorship, do you understand what I mean?
LUKE So, you mean you can have a different sponsorship in different territories comparing on the TV.
For sure new technologies going to make it different, this is why the cycling is a really interesting case. for
example, a brand in Colombia. (16:17-16:30). so, the TDF is kind an interesting case already, because it has
so many brands. But for? in theory??? Maybe it’s not strong enough to beat SKY, but they want to stay
with them, because it’s such a huge name in Colombia, that would be really important for their business.
So, sorry, I know I’m not quite answer your point of technologies, but the thing is that cycling is very diver-
sity, because different brands and territories be touched. And, I’m sure technologies will make a big impact
of this in the future.
JOEL I just go one last question before the guy ask you some other questions. I have a new question at
the minute. His main focus is on mechanical doping, bio doping and smaller squads. these kinds of prob-
lems with the moral sports, obviously, it has a negative aspect on sponsorship and commercial sides.
What is your perspective about how much the value is it?
LUKE I mean, well, my personal view is that, you know, it has a lot of damage to cycling by these things,
that is clear, that is something we already know about it. I know from my experience talking to someone
who work for different brands, and didn’t work for cycling. But, the reality is that here is a damage taking
place, it is impossible to quantified, and it is impossible to say where cycling be without these things. By
honest, it has made a big difference.
BRADON I am going to ask some questions about data and the future of tec. Do you guys use the
TDF as a partner to get dimension data, or do you guys use the separate company for your data tracking
or use your own website? and how do you think using the dimension data?
LUKE The dimension data is completely separated to Velon, as we know, ASO who own the TDF, I mean,
they are using data specifically for the TDF for their races. And Velon is associate with 10 different teams.
So, the TDF is own the proposition at this moment, and we are doing other things in the separated way.
BRADON How is your feedback whether with the community or teams? How the feedback being with
the all of the new data collection, because new data collection is kind of a key trend in the last 2 or 3 years.

TOUR DE FRANCE 23
LUKE well, the feedback is really good, it is very positive. I definitely think the riders in the team can see
the benefits of being able to broadcast. For instance, speed, power-up, how much power to get to the
mountain. Those things make the feedback become positive. But, then, I think for a wild perspective, there
is some people really into numbers, some is not, that is a reality. And some riders are super into num-
ber-crunching, they came to ask their data, and then smash, got improvement. As I said, there is some
riders, they are quite weary, if people have too much data, it is going to make it easier to hit their spirit.
Because they don’t want to people analyse their performances like down to the second. I can completely
understand. But, to answer your question, everyone can see that, it is a positive thing of sports.
BRADON Is there any way for the improvement? Maybe there is some data regulation, and anything
can be improved in new area for data collection?
Luke No, no it’s a good question we do have regulation for how we process the data for how we display
it and those rules are all decided at board level, among velum teams, it’s all decided by velon teams, we
would never for instance make all the data from one race or one rider available, we would take snippets,
taking 5 min here and 5 min here and tell the story through that rather than putting all the data out there
and we certainly could under the velon regulations, we can’t make full power files available or anything
like that but you know some rider are on strong on when they go for training rides they are happy to put
those numbers out, but yeah it is an interesting question to what extent will data be a right, would some-
one be able to beat “said sprinter mention earlier” if all of his data was out there, I don’t know. I suppose
you could say it would give you a clue that would be useful, I don’t personally think it would make the
difference, I still think it would be the strongest rider who would win
Brandon There is a lot of challenges with tracking data, whether it you put equipment on a bike and
the bike breaks or the rider has a crash, what has been the biggest challenge for velon tracking that data,
and also displaying the data to users and what not, kind of a two-part question
Luke Yeah, logistically getting the devices on the bike getting the devices paired, with the heart rate and
power monitor, so the big challenge is logistically, the technology is good and it works, but facilitating it
and getting it to work on the bike or bikes, takes a lot of man power, a lot of people power to get around
do get all the devices on the bike. Cycling, pro cycling is never going to be in a controlled environment,
you are going up mountains, and that’s what challenges the TV guys face. If the weather is awful the TV
guys have to say we are really sorry we have no signal from the helicopter. We can’t send the helicopter
up cause the weather is too bad we can’t get a signal from the motor bike riders cause the weather is too
bad and obviously that something effects velon, your reliant on the signal, I think both of those things will
improve, cause the devices will get smaller, maybe in 20 year’s time maybe every road bike sold will have
a very small device, who knows, that is on the logistics side and relying on the signal are the two big ones,
I’d say
Brandon Along those lines of weather problems, GoPro has been very involved with the different
TV angles and the on-board camera, and drones are kind of like the big thing, so that was our idea using
drones and Go Pros for different camera angles and what not, are there any new technologies down the
line that you are excited about or have heard for any upcoming races or any future races you are excited
about?
Luke I think it’s a good point the GoPro footage is fantastic, it gives people an insight to the riders of
what they are doing, by I do think the future of it is to cut up the GoPro footage with the two footages. In
my opinion, instead of having the GoPro footage stand alone, combining the TV broadcast with the GoPro,
obviously a real step forward would be having live on-board cameras. But the camera, the technology to
have a GoPro on a bike that is easily done but to have a live camera that is reliable camera transmitting
live footage from the race is still not easy to do, when that gets easier to do you’ll have the two directors
in the gallery, cut to rooms bike now or cut to the guy behind or in front of him or whatever. Live on-board
is what fans want always asking when are we going to have live on board, drones the thing with cycling is
the pictures are really stunning the mountains the scenery and the landscape. Short answer live on-board
will take it to the next level
Brandon Yes, I think we recognize it to, one of our ideas giving the user the camera switching option
that is popular in F1 and Nazca, having users switch to their favorited rider see the statistics that go along
with it and just giving the users an on-board camera like you mentioned

24 TOON SQUAD
Brandon I guess another idea that we would love to get your thoughts on, there has been the USA
the team used in RIO, having VR raptor glasses displaying statistics in front of them, With the future of VR
and those camera angles, is that feasible? it would have to be something like a google glass or something
smaller, to fit all the riders, in your professional opinion would that kind of camera be feasible and would all
riders be open to that kind of idea wearing glasses and what not?
Luke No, I don’t think all riders would be open to wearing glasses in my experience, but I mean sorry just
to clarify your talking about a camera that is built into the glasses or to give the rider statistics or both?
Brandon Kind of both there has been new technology where riders can look ahead and see almost
like a gap, but not looking down, and advancements in VR, there is a camera on the jokey, giving fans what
it is like to be on a horse or on a bike
Luke Yeah, I got you, I mean anything is possible with time, money and technology, but also the good-
will of riders, the simple answer is if it is easy and doesn’t affect what they are doing then I am sure most
riders would be cool with it, this is the thing. How do you develop glasses that all the riders are comfort-
able with, it is a tricky one, but if you have the time and money to develop it, maybe you can do it? I have
been thinking that in like 2020 cricket, they sic’d up the bowler. So, the bowler could say like “what you
going to do now” That would be amazing to have in cycling along with the camera, yeah, I think the tech-
nology improves, that will happen, it will happen, and I think it will give the fans being able to see a rider fly
down a decent at a 110k/hr, it would incredible, yeah, I hope it happens
Joel That was all the technology questions
Luke okay!
Joel How is it working with velon and ASO and is there anything else velon can do to add value to ASO
and indirectly add value to sponsorship?
Luke (Unofficial) The new UCI guy, he said the other day, velon is about the teams, making the team
money, doing what is best with them. And he has no problem with that. I think that is compelled true,
because by definition teams want to make money, they want to stable financially, the real interesting
point. The key point is... to take an example from premier league football famous rich and they have a lot of
money and the clubs work in partnership with the league and the league sells the two rights and the clubs
get a significant part of that money through TV rights. Now if you look at the Tour de France and split that
to money through the teams, it’s not a huge amount of money. It’s probably around 1 million euros a year
something that like between the teams. I personally think that velon, the real exciting thing is new events
like hammer series you know, and doing our own event I don’t even see commercially and the Tour de
France and it is the most watched event in the world and get the sponsorship value but, I think the exciting
thing for velon teams is doing our own races and do our own thing. As I say, politically it is interesting it is
an interesting sport at the moment. And teams want to make it more Commerciale for themselves and I am
sure that is well understood in the sport
Joel Great! Thanks a lot Luke
Luke Bye!
Group Bye!

TOUR DE FRANCE 25
Collaborative Project – Two Circles – Tour de France project

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