HSBC is to exit its major partnership with British Cycling halfway through its original deal at the end of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
“We believe the more Briton’s cycle, the more Britain can thrive.” That is the line that stands out on the company page heralding the breadth and value of the partnership and it is possible that Brexit has played a part in deliberations with the company reported to be moving significant operations out of London towards Paris.
Cost-cutting is also a major factor with a stated figure of over €4 Billion being marked for savings after a dip in profits at the global financial institution.
The deal was originally signed in 2017 and was seen as a major boost following the exit of Sky from its long term support of the sport and of initiatives like Lets Ride and Breeze Rides.
It was believed to be worth an estimated €3 Million per year which will be a major hole to fill in a post-Olympic Games environment.
In December HSBC announced it was ending its partnership with Rugby Australia though it has retained its partnership with World Rugby around the World Sevens Series and also supports World Badminton as a main global partner and Wimbledon Tennis.
British Cycling has now said it will be “actively engaging the market to find a new partner to be part of the next stage of our exciting journey.”
The organisation made a loss in its last accounts, despite the sponsorship and a number of cyclists were expressing fears last night about how major initiatives and high performance might be affected by the loss of HSBC.
If cyclists competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo though they were feeling pressure to live up to the success of their predecessors wearing the Team GB kit, that pressure just tightened a notch or two.
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Image Credit: HSBC / Sport for Business