The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Oakley have announced a two-year partnership starting in 2019. Under the deal, Oakley will support the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz and the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as an Official Partner.
According to UCI, the arrival of the celebrated US eyewear brand, which is owned by the Italian group Luxottica and has been a player in the cycling industry for several decades now, is ‘yet another sign of the faith that leading brands and media partners have in mountain bike.’
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup attracted record audiences on Red Bull TV, while there was a significant increase in the cumulative audience for the 2018 UCI World Championships in Lenzerheide (SUI), with 46 million viewers tuning in.
Oakley has been part of the sport of cycling for more than three decades. In the 1980s, the brand made a name for itself within the road cycling peloton with its glasses, helmets and its line of clothing. Today it supplies several UCI WorldTeams and top teams in the UCI Women’s WorldTour.
At the end of the 1990s, Oakley extended its activities to include mountain bike, and has been chosen by MTB legends such as Julien Absalon and Nino Schurter (cross-country Olympic) and Greg Minnaar and Rachel Atherton (downhill).
“The arrival of an international brand such as Oakley is excellent news for mountain bike,” said UCI President David Lappartient. “At a time when our competitions are enjoying increasing popularity, it gives me great pleasure to see an established player in the cycling industry demonstrate their faith in our discipline. Our partnership will combine the global and high-profile exposure of UCI events with the expertise of Oakley products.”
Ben Goss, Oakley Global Brand Director added, “At Oakley we look for partnerships that share our passion for technological innovation, that allow us to stay ahead of the game and set the standard in sports performance. We can’t wait to work with the UCI over the next two years and beyond in creating the ultimate experience for athletes and spectators.”
Founded in 1900, in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling. It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms, for all people as a competitive sport, as a healthy recreational activity, as a means of transport, and also just for fun.
UCI manages and promotes the nine cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX – racing and freestyle – paracycling, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup was founded in 1991. Olympic cross-country and downhill competitions have since been held on several continents and across different age groups.