The Velon group of teams and Tour de France organisers ASO have announced a partnership with video camera brand GoPro to capture on-bike and behind the scenes video content during races, starting at the Tour de France.
ASO revealed that a minimum of eight cameras will be fitted to bikes during each of the 21 stages of the Tour de France. The edited footage will be shared with race broadcasters, teams and via the social media networks of the Tour and GoPro. ASO added that it will also experiment with live on-bike images during the neutralized start of stage two in Utrecht on Sunday.
Cyclingnews understands that Velon has secured both financial and technological backing and significant cross marketing resources from GoPro after producing on-bike video from recent races, including the Giro d’Italia. Velon's agreement will cover the whole of the 2015 season but other races have yet to confirm if they will allow for the footage to be shown during races.
Several teams in the peloton are sponsored by other brands of video camera but this has not stopped an agreement covering all 22 teams in the Tour de France and Velon for the rest of 2015.
Relations between ASO and the teams, especially the Velon teams, have turned sour in recent weeks after a clash regarding the planned UCI reforms to professional cycling for 2017-2020. The Velon teams apparently refused to fit geo-positioning equipment to their bikes during the recent Critérium du Dauphiné. However, the two have reached an agreement to bring GoPro into the sport at the Tour de France.
“It’s great to reveal what we think is a landmark agreement for the sport and to have a major global brand invest in Velon and invest in the Velon teams. That’s what the sport needs, so we can raise the profile of the sport thanks to global sponsors like GoPro and their huge platform and products,” Velon CEO Graham Bartlett told Cyclingnews.
“The on-bike video footage from professional cycling fits perfectly with GoPro’s brand and it’s great for the sport too. GoPro’s YouTube channel is one of the world’s highest ranked online sports channels, in the top five for both subscribers and video views. We want this partnership to excite the fans and open the sport up to new ones from around the world.”
Todd Ballard, the Senior Director of Lifestyle Marketing for GoPro said: “Cycling is one of the ultimate team sports, but the best moments often happen away from the TV cameras. By partnering with Velon, we can get inside the action and show what it takes to win in one of the world’s most demanding sports, bringing the sport alive for our millions of fans.”
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