Bradley Wiggins and Team Wiggins have signed a three-year deal with Skoda to promote the car firm's new UK brand campaign, according to a report on RoadCyclingUK and an update on the team's Twitter account.
The announcement comes as Wiggins revealed that he is leaving XIX Management owned by Simon Fuller to join the M&C Saatchi Merlin agency that has worked with British sports stars such as cricketer Freddie Flintoff and footballer Jamie Redknapp. Saatchi Merlin also look after the commercial interests of Olympic champions Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah. According to the Daily Mail, XIX Management now only has David Beckham on its books after the departure of Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray.
Wiggins announced his final farewell from professional cycling over the holidays as he is embroiled in a controversy surrounding his use of therapeutic use exemptions during his career. The Daily Mail suggests that Wiggins felt that XIX did not do enough to support him during the controversy.
"I'm delighted to have joined the M&C Saatchi Merlin roster," Wiggins said in a statement from his new agency. "Having now retired, the reach in to broadcasting and developing my own brand will be very important. With M&C SaatchiMerlin's global network and their outstanding record of creating broadcast careers; it gives me huge confidence in their ability to deliver for me."
Wiggins will appear in advertisements for TV, print and online, and the deal also extends to Team Wiggins, according to the RoadCyclingUK report. CampaignLive reported that Wiggins filed a commercial for Skoda filmed in December in the Lake District. The filming "saw Wiggins put through his paces against the Škoda Superb Estate," according to the advertising industry website. The ad campaign will be launched in February.
The 2012 Tour de France champion and eight-time Olympic medalist also recently announced he signed up to appear in the British television show The Jump. The programme, which is in its fourth series, features a number of celebrities and former athletes competing in a range of winter sports, including skeleton, bobsled and giant slalom.