To build support for Team Sky’s assault on its third successive Tour de France win, the rights owner has begun rolling out its ‘Tour Fever’ campaign to engage fans and encourage the support it hopes will drive its riders from Yorkshire to the Champs Elysees.
The campaign is led by an online film series about how Team Sky supporters are preparing for the world’s top bike race and catching Tour Fever.
The first two episodes of which are called ‘What’s Got Into Dad?’ and ‘King Of the Mountain’ and were launched in the days before the Grand Depart in Leeds on 5 July,
The first film stars seven-year-old Harrogate resident Molly Burns talking about how her dad has sprayed her old bike Tour colours and hung it outside the family restaurant and also painted the white wall with the iconic King Of The Mountains red dots.
The second stars 81-year-old Team Sky fan Alan Bonner.
Sky Pro Cycling is encouraging consumers and bike fans to share their own photos, stories and videos themed around how they’ll be supporting Team Sky this year (or in previous years) by emailing their content to firstname.lastname@example.org, or posting pictures and films on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the hashtag #TourFever.
The team will then publish the best ones across its social platforms, place them on the web in a fan gallery and tweet and post them, as they are incorporated into the ‘Tour fever’ campaign.
As befits an increasingly professional and financially savvy team, another strand of the campaign sees Team Sky is also offering consumers the chance to show their support by buying/wearing one of three special edition ‘Tour Fever’ t-shirts – Union Jack’d, Dossard No1 and Va Va Froome.
These have been produced in tandem with kit partner Rapha and sold at Rapha stores, via Evans Cycles and through the Team Sky website.
And, along similar lines, another partner-associated revenue strand is the Team Sky Breakfast, developed in association with nutrition brand CNP.
This range of nutritious, high protein breakfast products – Team Sky High Protein Porridge and Team Sky High Protein Smoothies – are available for sale in selected Tesco stores and via the CNP website.
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this innovative range of great-tasting, convenient and widely available products is very exciting,’ says team Sky’s head of nutrition Nigel Mitchell.
‘Both the Team Sky Porridge and Smoothies contain a rich source of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre that will help provide a slow release of energy to keep you energised and feeling fuller for longer.’
Another aspect of Team Sky’s partnership activation from Jaguar, which deepened its team relationship by working with bike partner Pinarello on the development of the new Dogma F8 bike,
is its ‘Jaguar Unpacked’ online film which explores just what goes into a Team Sky XF Sportbrake support car on the Tour De France.
The team’s vehicles need to be prepared for any eventuality, and simultaneously act as wardrobe, mechanic’s workshop, bike store, restaurant, hospital and race HQ.
As the team becomes ever bigger, better known and more successful it is developing into a more powerful brand and sophisticated rights owner – one that is more aware of the need for it and its partners to engage its fans, expand its reach and monetise their relationships and investments.
With this year’s Tour starting in its home country team Sky and its partners have a particular opportunity to engage the fan base and connect with them both on the road and through the Team Sky channels and platforms.
However, many will suggest it could have done this far more effectively by having its number one asset, inspirational British cycling hero and former Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, in market.
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