HSBC will be named the new sponsor of British Cycling this weekend, according to Mail Online, which says the announcement that the bank will be replacing Sky coinciding with the first HSBC UK BikeFest in Birmingham on Sunday.
Sky and British Cycling announced last year that their eight-year partnership, which coincided with the country’s track cyclists dominating the medals table at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics, would finish at the end of 2016.
That decision does not affect Team Sky, which the broadcaster continues to sponsor. It is believed that the ending of the partnership was due to Sky making budget cuts due to the £4.2 billion it is paying for the rights to show Premier League football over the next three years.
HSBC, which bills itself as “the world’s local bank,” sponsors a number of golf events worldwide, the biggest being the HSBC World Golf Champions tournament in Shanghai, and in rugby is sponsor of the Hong Kong Sevens and the Sevens World Series.
Away from elite sport, one of the most visible aspects of Sky’s sponsorship of British Cycling has been the Sky Ride events that see cyclists young and old take to the car-free streets of cities throughout Britain each summer.
Those mass participation rides – the final one was in York last Sunday, with thousands of cyclists participating – seem set to be rebranded as HSBC UK BikeFest, the title of this weekend’s event in Birmingham.
Taking place on Sunday 18 September, it is being held in partnership with Birmingham Cycle Revolution.
Running from 9am-4pm, the event will include a 2-kilometre traffic-free circuit centred on the city’s Victoria Square.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.