Velon and the sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media have announced the signing of a ten-year partnership regarding rider data capture and distribution from within races.
Velon – the business venture that includes 11 of the 18 current WorldTour teams, made the announcement on Tuesday. It hopes Infront will help to distribute the data to race organisers in a bid to transform the digital format of race coverage.
It is part of Velon's continued aim to "build a long term and sustainable economic model for the sport, its teams and riders." In 2014 and 2015, Velon helped produce and transmit on-board video footage from several major races. It also partnered with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council to create a revenue sharing model between the Abu Dhabi Tour and the 11 Velon teams.
"Just imagine how great it will be for fans to see the performance of the riders as they follow races on their screens or see them at the race. This is something that has been available in other sports and now we're bringing it to cycling so fans can better engage with the riders and get a much better experience."
Possible debut at the Tour de Suisse
Froome backs the partnership
"Velon are committed to bringing the fans the best possible race experience and the success of introducing the on-bike cameras has been great to see. This new partnership will enable the Velon teams to look at other exciting and innovative ways to open up cycling to new audiences."
Infront is a global sports marketing and television rights company and works across a number of other international sports, including football and basketball. They are led by President and CEO Philippe Blatter. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group. Dalian Wanda Group is owned by China's richest man Wang Jianlin.
Last summer Dalian Wanda also bought the Ironman triathlon brand for a reported 900 million US dollars. In January Ironman bought the endurance-sports division of Paris-based Lagardère Sports – which own the Hamburg Cyclassics race and a series of sportive events.
"Cycling is a key sport in Infront's long-term strategy and also an important pillar of the wider Wanda Sports Holding business," said Infront's Executive director, Stephan Herth.