With a fleet of 250 ŠKODA vehicles and a broad range of promotions, the Czech car producer will be ever present at the 100thanniversary of the cycling classic. This year’s Tour takes place from the 29th June to 21st July.
“Our longstanding partnership with the world’s number one cycling event underlines ŠKODA’s close relationship with cycling,” says ŠKODA CEO, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “The fact that ŠKODA has been sponsoring the Tour de France for ten years, and that we can also celebrate this 100th anniversary is really something very special. Supporting the Tour de France and other cycling events is also an expression of our company’s tradition spanning the past 118 years. The company’s success story began in December 1895 with the production of bicycles by our founding fathers, Laurin and Klement,” Vahland explains.
This year’s Tour de France starts in Corsica on 29th June. For the first time, three stages will be hosted on the French island. After a total of 21 stages and 3,360 kilometres, the cyclists will reach the finish line in Champs-Elysées, Paris on 21st July. As in previous years, ŠKODA will be the partner for the ‘White Jersey’– rewarded to the best rider under the age of 25.
For this year’s Tour de France, ŠKODA will provide the Tour organiser and other partners with a total of 250 vehicles. The new ŠKODA Octavia estate and ŠKODA Superb will be serving primarily as accompanying vehicles. These include two of the new Superb facelift, which will celebrate its debut in the European markets at the end of June. The new Superbs in red will serve as the vehicles for the Tour director, Christian Prudhomme. Many ŠKODA cars will be travelling with the publicity caravan, which will be putting on a fantastic display for spectators one or two hours before the entourage. Rapid, Yeti and Citigo will all be a part of this year’s ŠKODA Tour de France fleet.
Providing transport has always played a major role in any sponsorship arrangement. Year on year, over 200 ŠKODA models travel around 2.8 million kilometres during the Tour. The total distance travelled in the past nine years is almost 25 million kilometres. The ŠKODA fleet really comes into its own here in terms of reliability. Not one single vehicle has ever broken down due to technical problems.
The Tour de France is one of the world’s biggest sporting events – surpassed only by the football World Cup and the Olympics. There were around 12 million cycling enthusiasts cheering along the main route alone in 2012, joined by approximately 1.7 billion TV viewers throughout the world. “Cycling is a highly dynamic sport that attracts millions of people worldwide,” says Werner Eichhorn, ŠKODA Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “It fits perfectly with the ŠKODA brand.”
Part of ŠKODA’s sponsorship of the Tour de France is an extensive communication campaign. This can be seen in a specially developed film, which demonstrates the manufacturer’s involvement in ‘Le Tour’. Its message: As “the team behind the teams”, ŠKODA provides the support necessary for a successful Tour de France. Each of the ads in the emotive series supports this message.
There will also be a broad presence on the internet and in social media. Two internet sites will present ŠKODA’s involvement in the cycling: www.skoda-cycling.com and www.skoda-radsport.de. Highlights will also be shown on ŠKODA’s Facebook page: facebook.com/skoda-cycling.
Alongside ice hockey, cycling is a very important pillar of the international ŠKODA sponsorship strategy, in which sponsoring the Tour de France and other cycling events play a central role. The car maker supports UK-lend events Tour of Britain and Ride London, the Czech ‘Bike for Life’ events, the ‘Virtual Cup’ competition and Berlin’s ‘Velothon’.
Having such a close connection to cycling is demonstrated through ŠKODA’s traditional sponsorship. Bicycles and all the accessories that go with them have been a part of the car manufacture’s extended product range for more than a century. With ten models, the 2013 ŠKODA bike collection is better than ever before. Kids’ and junior bikes as well as high-tech racing bikes and mountain bikes are now available from ŠKODA Genuine Accessories. The extremely popular category of 29-inch bikes is now available for the first time in this year’s collection. The brand also offers a fantastic range of bike wear for adults and children as well as other cycling accessories such as ŠKODA designed helmets, gloves, drinks bottles and sunglasses