National governing body British Cycling has confirmed it has agreed with Sky that 2016 will be the final year of their partnership.
A release from British Cycling noted that ‘As well as working with British Cycling to find a new partner from 2017 onwards, Sky will continue its commitment to cycling through Team Sky, WIGGINS and Sky Academy initiatives.’
Sky and British Cycling joined forces in 2008 with the aim of increasing cycling participation at all levels by supporting elite sport alongside inspiring the next generation to cycle more regularly. Achievements have included getting over 1.7m more people cycling regularly, with the successful Sky Ride events set to surpass 1 million participants before the end of 2016.
British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake said “British Cycling and Sky will remain firm friends and part with great mutual affection, having achieved amazing things together.
“The last 10 years have been brilliant for our sport – our membership and participation in cycle sport continues to grow, we’ve encouraged over 1.7 million people to cycle regularly with even more starting all the time and we are seeing the emergence of a new generation of cycling heroes.
“The partnership with Sky since 2008 is an important part of that story. Sky gave British Cycling the platform from which to communicate the best of the sport and, through British Cycling, Sky has delivered lasting and positive change.
“Successes for British riders at London 2012 transformed the country’s sporting expectations but winning medals was never an end in itself – we have harnessed those achievements to inspire unprecedented growth in participation.
“There is still a great deal to do – including getting a million more women into cycling by 2020, sustaining the country’s most successful sports team, continuing to support growth in cycle sport through our regions, clubs, members and volunteers, and transforming Britain into a true cycling nation by making conditions on our roads better for everyone who wants to get around by bike.
“The job is far from finished and British Cycling has a strong culture of setting and hitting ambitious targets so we relish the challenge as we set our sights on what we want to achieve beyond Rio 2016.
“To achieve these ambitions we need to increase investment into our sport and have therefore developed a clear commercial approach to support our 2017-2025 strategy. We look forward to engaging with a wide range of partners who want to join us on this exciting journey.”
Sky Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said “We’re immensely proud of our great partnership with the whole team at British Cycling. Together we have helped to transform the sport at all levels including over 1.7m more people cycling regularly and unprecedented medal success.
“This is a lasting legacy and we will give everything to make the final 18 months of our relationship just as successful. Our long-term commitment to cycling continues and we will work with British Cycling to identify a new partner who can help bring even more success in the future.”
Key facts on the British Cycling-Sky partnership
- Over 1.7 million more people than in 2008 are now cycling regularly thanks to the efforts of British Cycling and Sky.
1.2 million people have taken part in a Sky Ride, Sky Ride Local or Breeze ride since 2009.
- Membership of British Cycling has grown from less than 21,000 in January 2008 to more than 111,000 in June 2015. Growth continues at 21% per year. 2034 clubs are now affiliated to British Cycling.
- At the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games the Great Britain Cycling Team won a combined total of 16 gold, 11 silver and seven bronze medals.
- Over 25,000 people are currently competing regularly in around 3,500 competitive cycling events each year. Over 350 sportives involving 145,000 participants were registered with British Cycling in the last year.
- 500,000 opportunities for young people to participate in cycling were delivered through the Go-Ride programme last year. 60% of the current GB Cycling Team came into cycling through Go-Ride.