Tour de France win 'to spur brand Froome into the mainstream'
Chris Froome’s Tour de France will thrust his profile into the mainstream in the UK according to sponsorship experts, who warn that the Briton needs to use this as a platform to become known as the number one cyclist if he is to build a lasting legacy around his brand.
Froome was crowned the champion of the 100th edition of the Tour de France yesterday (21July) in Paris. It is Britain’s second successive victory in the race after Froome’s Team Sky colleague Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the race a year ago.
Unlike Wiggins, however, the level of national awareness around Froome was lacking ahead of the race according to Repucom’s DBI Index. The cyclist had an endorsement level of 36.6 points compared to Wiggins’ 81.4.
Industry observers tip the win will change this but Froome’s “less edgy” and more “focused” demeanour means he is likely to attract brands interested in his on-track performance rather than his personality.
Rupert Pratt, managing director at Generate Sponsorship says: “Froome’s win will likely signal interest from performance based brands with a more corporate image they want to convey. Wiggins’ personality has the greater longevity because he was the first and his off-track brand and mod-ish style make him more appealing to brands looking to reach a wider audience.”
Dom Curran, managing director at Synergy Sponsorship, adds: “My advice to any sponsors getting involved with him would likely be around focusing on his interesting personal story and joining up on a scheme around cycle development – basically stay close to his passion, cycling.
Froome’s victory comes off the back of a tumultuous year for cycling in the wake of the Armstrong doping scandal that saw several high profile brands walk away from the sport. While cycling still needs to go to great lengths” to re-build this trust, adds Curran, the achievements of Froome and Team Sky could go some way to restoring commercial faith in the sport.
Brands including Hafords and BskyB have hailed the win with tactical campaigns. Halfords congratulated the rider in a press ad promoting summer bike offers while Sky used his image to push its Sky Ride bike rides.