The Velon business group and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) have announced a collective agreement that will see a revenue sharing program between the Abu Dhabi Tour race and 11 Velon WorldTour teams who have committed to racing the new stage race for the next three seasons. The partnership also includes the newly created UCI Cycling Gala awards ceremony where the individual, team and national WorldTour winners will be presented with their prizes in October.
"This is a new race with big plans and Velon is delighted to be part of it. We've partnered with other race organisers in the past but this agreement is wider ranging then anything before. Our shareholders formed Velon for it to make these kind of partnerships," said Velon CEO Graham Bartlett.
Aref Hamad Al Awani, the general secretary of ADSC, added the partnership with Velon marks the beginning of a new business model for cycling that will see teams receive revenue generated from the race.
"This partnership confirms our strategy and ambitions: a great race needs great characters and working with Velon guarantees their presence. Moreover, this WorldTour teams venture is clearly showing its focus on innovation and it's exactly what we want: the Abu Dhabi Tour looks to the future and we're proud to collaborate on the technological development of cycling," Al Awani said in a statement.
Created in November 2014, Velon's mission statement was to "to drive a financial model that, in line with other international sports, ensures a sustainable future for the teams". The Velon group partnered with GoPro and ASO at the Tour de France this year which saw all 22 teams race with onboard cameras and daily YouTube videos from the race but the ADSC announcement marks further development in the group's ambition to change the business model of the sport.
A joint statement from Velon and ADSC added that the two parties "will work together under a revenue sharing model with a joint interest in developing the race. Under the partnership Velon will continue to bring new technology and innovation to the heart of the fan experience with on-bike and behind the scenes footage at the 2015 edition and, with ADSC’s support, further innovations in future years."