Velon announce game changing 10 year agreement with Infront Sports & Media

Tue 23 Feb 2016

New agreement unlocks investment and expertise that will see Velon taking the lead in delivering the full athlete experience to fans in a never-before-seen way.

Today Velon announces that it has entered into a revolutionary partnership with Infront Sports and Media, the leading international sports marketing company. The deal will give Velon access to Infront’s market leading technology, media production and sports marketing expertise and enable Velon to build a long term and sustainable economic model for the sport, its teams and riders.

The first phase of the partnership will enable live race data to revolutionise the fan experience.

This 10 year agreement is a significant step towards Velon achieving its core goals of, which include:

Bringing fans closer to the riders, races and teams through technical and media solutions.

Aggregating the rights of 11 of the biggest teams to improve the financial stability of the sport and thus benefit their staff and riders.

Infront are now Velon’s strategic partner across all of Velon’s new and existing business opportunities; they have also been tasked with growing the commercial revenues/revenue streams with Velon and work with key partners including event organisers, their partners and the UCI.

Technology Solution:

Initially this agreement will provide investment into a technology solution to bring the racing alive in an innovative and meaningful new way for the fans. In order to provide the broadest array of expertise, Infront also involves its subsidiaries Host Broadcast Services (HBS) and Omnigon. The agreement will result in the ability for bikes to carry the necessary technology to live stream performance data and video to feed into the race coverage.

This is pivotal to a core goal of Velon, bringing fans closer to the riders, races and teams, enhancing their experience in following cycling while also growing the core fan base of the sport through this exciting development.

Data capture will include various streams, however what will be publically visible is subject to the outcomes of our discussions with all stakeholders (teams, riders, event organisers, the UCI, broadcasters etc.).

This data will be aggregated, interpreted and made available to race organisers for their broadcasters for use in the race coverage. Data will be handled sensitively so as to respect rider privacy rights and will use filters to ensure that live usage does not deliver a competitive advantage or disadvantage during a race.

On the subject of live streaming data from bikes, Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon commented:

"We are delighted to be partnered with Infront Sports and Media. Our partnership enables us to make a major step forward to enable data to be shared with fans and it is going to be fantastic. 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.”

Next Steps:

In order to realise the technology and data solution, Velon is now: 

Engaging with fans - With Infront we are now embarking on a project to create the ideal platform for all cycling fans to provide a unique experience during live racing with everything they want to know, see and understand.

Consulting with teams - We are also working with the teams and their riders to share more key rider data that the fans can relate to; riders really want to get their data out as it aids transparency and believability in their abilities and accomplishments, but we fully understand the need for race and rider sensitivity to makes sure neither are compromised in any way.

Working with race organisers - We are also working on agreements with race organisers. We will partner with them on this exciting new development to grow their event and create more value together.

Working with race organisers and broadcasters - We will be working with both race organisers and broadcasters on the best solution to provide this information in a meaningful way to the fans through the media.

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - Finally, we will of course be working closely with the UCI, the governing body, which has been strongly advocating increased technology. We will be working with them in particular to ensure that this initiative fits within the UCI’s regulatory framework.

Graham Bartlett - CEO of Velon said:

“This is an incredibly exciting announcement. We have spent over a year investigating potential partners that understood our goals and could assist us in achieving them.  Infront Sports and Media have a vast amount of experience in this area and will be pivotal in developing a sustainable and long term future for pro-cycling.”

Stephan Herth, Executive Director of Infront Sports and Media, commented on the agreement:

“Cycling is a key sport in Infront’s long-term strategy and also an important pillar of the wider Wanda Sports Holding business. We are therefore proud to partner with Velon in revolutionizing the cycling experience of the fans, as well as the way that the sport is positioned and marketed in the digital sphere. Involving also our subsidiaries HBS and Omnigon, we will provide an extensive array of in-house marketing, production and digital experience to Velon, as we fully share the teams’ vision: to engage and grow the global cycling community, enhance the perception of the sport, and ensure long-term economic stability.”

ORICA-GreenEDGE has been a strong supporter of Velon since its inception and General Manager Shayne Bannan agrees on the significance of this partnership:

“This is a key partnership for the future and one that helps Velon take the next important steps. Since this group has come together, it has gone from strength to strength and this is another significant indication that we are on a very promising track. Partnering up with Infront is an essential step as cycling continues to develop and all the main stakeholders work together on the most important projects”.

Also the riders on the team have been informed on these latest developments and current WorldTour number one rider, Simon Gerrans adds:

"It's great to see such a significant partnership being announced - it bodes really well for the development of how close we can bring the fans to the sport and for exploring an even more global audience in the best possible way”.