Official Press Release from Rapha
The Rapha Condor Professional Cycling Team, home to the current men’s national road race champion, today announced the signing of three new sponsorship deals that will bring some household names to their distinctive jersey. Sharp Electronics, Paul Smith Jeans and Malmaison Hotel Group will be supporting the team for the remainder of 2009.
The deals mark a watershed in cycling sponsorship and the sport, with a number of premier household brands entering a market that has traditionally been dominated by names from within the industry and lesser known brands. The support and interest from such cool brands is a real breakthrough.
The new sponsors will debut on the Rapha Condor team jerseys and Kristian House’s National Champion’s jersey at the Tour of Ireland in August.
Leading the roster of new sponsors is the global electronics brand, Sharp. Renowned for their innovative range of consumer electronic products (spanning LCDs, home appliances, Blu-ray and audio products), multi function printers and solar panels, Sharp has teamed up with their official charity partner, The Prostate Cancer Charity. Sharp4Prostate, the initiative between Sharp and The Prostate Cancer Charity, will appear on the Rapha Condor team jerseys to increase awareness and raise funds to fight against Prostate Cancer, the most common cancer in men taking more than 10,000 lives each year in the UK. Sharp will work with the Rapha Condor Team to promote a number of initiatives including the use of team riders as ambassadors for Sharp4Prostate. The Prostate Cancer Charity is already a sponsor of the Tour of Britain.
Joining the Sharp4Prostate brand on the new jersey will be Paul Smith Jeans. Sir Paul is a well known cycling enthusiast and has worked with Rapha on a number of cycling related projects in recent years. However, this is the first time that the Paul Smith brand has appeared on the jersey of a professional cycling team. Adding Paul Smith Jeans to the black Rapha Condor jersey will cement its reputation as the most stylish in the peloton. Going forward the Rapha Condor team will be wearing Paul Smith Jeans, underlining the new partnership.
The third name to be added to the jersey is that of the boutique hotel brands Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, who join the team as their official hospitality partner. The tie up between Rapha Condor and the hotels will see the team visit a number of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin locations as part of a mini ‘tour of Britain’ training camp in August. Hotels within the group will also be used for hospitality for Rapha Condor Club Members and guests throughout the Tour of Britain.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Rapha founder and CEO Simon Mottram, expressed his enthusiasm for the new sponsorship:
“For these premium brands to choose cycling as a vehicle for their sponsorship activity is a hugely important moment for the Rapha Condor project. The sport has been growing rapidly over the last few years but it has taken the big brands a while to act on the opportunity that cycling has to offer. The brands that have joined the team for the rest of the year have seen the synergy with the Rapha and Condor brands and their target audience and we’re looking forward to working with them this year and, hopefully, beyond”