The ongoing situation has shed light on the vulnerable situation for riders, teams and organizers in professional cycling. The sport is «sponsor-driven» and financial predictability is defined by the long(short)-term view on sales and marketing pay-offs for the sponsor. I admire the «long players». FDJ, AG2R, Movistar and Lotto-Soudal are all examples on sponsors settled down at the World Tour for many years.
«Development» is the foundation for Uno-X. It is not limited to age or professional level, but we want it to be profound in every operational element of the team. It’s a way of thinking, and it’s performance-oriented rather than result-oriented.
Uno-X does not consider ourselves to be a sponsor of a team, but an owner of a business model. What is the consequence? Well I would argue for more long-term decisions, financial predictability and «philosophical control». We don’t have to ask anyone, we just have to do it. Be not mistaken, we don’t do this just because we love cycling, we honestly believe it is good for the Uno-X business. Thanks to all our customers for making it possible!
I think we will see changes in professional cycling. The brands supporting the sport, the clubs organizing the races and the Federations providing the framework will all need more common ground.
I wish for a sharing of commercial TV-rights based on performance, budget restrictions per team, transfer fees for riders between teams, and financial support to minor race organizers. This will increase the fan base, provide stability for team owners/sponsors and most importantly - create a visible path of development for the next generation of young riders.
We need a sustainable eco-system, not just a 2-year show.
#FlattenTheCurve and Happy Easter!
About the Author
Jens Haugland is the General Manager of the Uno-X Norwegian Development Team and CEO of Uno-X Norge AS. Amongst friends and family he is well known for his level of enthusiasm and passion for the sport of cycling. You’ll meet him along the roads in the municipality of Nittedal, his beloved home region, on his custom-built DARE GFE or MR1s bike. You may also find him on Twitter by the name @sykkelsjefen, where he share his day to day thoughts on what’s going on in the world of cycling. He’s 36 years old and has three kids together with Elisabeth.
All photos taken by the excellent Jan Brychta