The 109th edition of the Tour De France wrapped up in Paris on Sunday, with Team Jumbo-Visma winning the championship title and the UAE team, sponsored by Emirates, taking second place.
Team Jumba-Visma has over 45 sponsorship deals, most of them in the Leisure & Recreation category. The fact that 14 of those brands belong to the Athletic Equipment subcategory isn’t surprising, given the plethora of gear–namely bikes, helmets, goggles, shoes, and apparel–that cyclists don in competition.
Skoda Auto served as the official main sponsor of the tour for the 19th time, providing 250 vehicles for use during the event. Beyond this marquee partnership, 20% of its portfolio–7 deals –were sponsorships of the Tour’s participating teams.
Swiss watchmaker Tissot’s Tour sponsorship marks its largest deal by number of assets, though the brand has partnerships with many other properties–including multiple NBA teams, as Official Timekeeper of the NBA since 2015.
The Tour also showcased some head-turning signage that’s been cropping up lately in the cycling world. NamedSport Superfood’s 15+-foot inflatable activation drew spectators’ attention, offering better exposure than barrier signage could, considering the crowded convoy of athletes racing at an average 25mph. Given these assets’ prime visibility, chances are we’ll see more of these 3-D activations from major sponsors in the future.
Another marketing bonanza wowing the crowds: the famous Tour de France caravan, a 45-minute string of vehicles that rolls ahead of the race peloton, first conceived by Tour organizer Henri Desgranges in 1930. Featuring a slew of advertisers–including food & beverage brands and Française des Jeux, France’s only gaming (lottery) brand–the one-of-a-kind activation offered scads of freebies and coupons to cheering spectators, including collectible cards from Arkea, an elite French women’s cycling team. Sponsors changed as the race crossed borders, with Danish brands leading the charge in Denmark, the northernmost country ever to appear on the Tour.
Meanwhile, GPS navigation software maker Waze, another Tour partner, mapped out the event’s nearly 2,500 miles of closed roads, start and finish lines, parking lots, and live traffic speeds, to help drivers better navigate around the race.