Come for the race, stay for the ride | WARC | The Feed
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Come for the race, stay for the ride
As the Tour de France gears up for Le Grand Départ in Copenhagen, broadcasters and sponsors have been addressing issues around engagement and sustainability.
Why it matters
Some 3.5 billion people in 190 countries watch over the three weeks of the Tour, while another 12 million will catch it stood by roadsides across France. That’s a huge reach for the event’s many partners and supporters – and a huge opportunity to build closer relationships with fans and customers.
Discovery Sports is using augmented reality analysis tools and unique virtual backdrops to “enhance” the viewing experience even further, while an “inclinometer” feature seeks to help viewers better visualise the gradients faced by the peloton. (Eurosport has previously used biometric measurement to better understand viewer engagement and inform its coverage.)
Meanwhile, Netflix, which already has a large portfolio of sporting documentaries, is working on an eight-part series in which it will be following several teams at this year’s Tour.
Fitness tracking app Strava, with a new three-year partnership under its belt, has created a content hub within the app which will tell the story of the riders through their daily activity uploads and photos (many riders already upload their data).
Separately, indoor training app Zwift, which ran a virtual Tour de France in 2020, has partnered with the Tour de France Femmes to bring together the virtual and real worlds by creating opportunities to do recovery and warm-up rides with the pros. “It’s a big, big moment for brand awareness,” Kate Veronneau, Zwift’s director of content and women’s strategy, told SportsPro.
With sustainability on everyone’s agenda, tour organiser ASO has committed to offsetting the emissions pumped out by the hundreds of team cars, support vehicles and publicity trucks.
Car brand ŠKODA, which is supporting the Tour for the 19th time, is providing 250 vehicles to the race organisers and race management, as well as service and support vehicles. At least some of these will be all-electric or hybrid models (the logistics of the Tour, which visits small towns and villages mean it’s not currently possible to run an all-electric fleet). And tyres for the electric vehicles, supplied by fellow sponsor Continental, include carcass material consisting entirely of recycled PET bottles.
If there’s still a long way to go on eliminating emissions, more immediate action has been taken on litter and the publicity caravan – the 150 or so vehicles that precede the riders on each stage throwing out all manner of sponsors’ freebies to people at the side of the road. Single-use plastic packaging is now forbidden, although there remain issues with a bottled water brand like Vittel.
Sourced from Amaury Sport Organisation, Eurosport, Velo News, Sports Pro, Škoda
[Image: ASO/Pauline Ballet]
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