Industry shorts: INEOS, BBC, RFU, Jockey Club

20 Mar 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Chemicals giant INEOS has been confirmed as the new title partner of Team Sky, after Sky and 21st Century Fox agreed to the sale, having announced their decision to withdraw from cycling sponsorship late last year.

The new agreement will come into effect from 1st May this year and formally launched at the Tour de Yorkshire, which starts in Doncaster on 2nd May.

The deal will see continuous funding provided to the current Team Sky team in full, with INEOS honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners.

It adds to the brand's existing sponsorship investments, which include a deal with Ben Ainslie's BAR sailing team.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman and Chief Executive of INEOS, said: “Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world. Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments. INEOS is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team.”

Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal, added: “Today’s announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans, and for the sport more widely. It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future. In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike.”

The BBC and The FA have agreed a new four-year broadcast deal to show the Emirates FA Cup until 2025, starting at the beginning of the 2021/22 season.

The extension covers live match coverage, highlights and clip rights, and will see England's domestic cup competition shown free-to-air across BBC platforms.

Under the new agreement, more Emirates FA Cup matches - up to 18 live fixtures per season - will be shown on the BBC than ever before. The deal also includes greater coverage of the early rounds, incorporating up to six live matches from across the First and Second Rounds of the historic tournament.

Marketing tech firm Fifty has been appointed to drive a new digital strategy for the RFU.

The firm, which specialises in the data-led understanding of audiences, works with clients from ticketing and sport, including the likes of Red Bull, IMG, Garmin, Barbarians, Fulham FC and Polo In The Park.

Commenting on the RFU appointment, Fifty’s Managing Director Duncan McCrum said: “We are proud to announce our alliance with England Rugby (RFU) as their new media service provider. Through a detailed audience analysis and improved digital strategy, Fifty will be driving paid for marketing activity across ticketing and participation campaigns. We’re excited to be working with the RFU and look forward to helping them achieve great things.”

The Jockey Club has appointed PA Images as its photography partner.

The agreement will see PA Images’ photographers and onsite picture editors provide daily coverage for The Jockey Club’s flagship horseracing events during 2019 –The Randox Health Grand National (Aintree), Investec Derby Festival (Epsom Downs) and the Moët & Chandon July Festival (Newmarket). The partnership began this month with coverage of The Festival, presented by Magners (Cheltenham).

As well as capturing all the sporting action, PA Images’ photographers will provide lifestyle imagery covering all aspects of a day at the races. Pictures of the hospitality, entertainment and visitors at each racecourse will be used by The Jockey Club to promote the sport on its websites, social media channels and printed material.

The partnership will also give The Jockey Club access to PA Images’ picture archive, which dates back to 1863, for use on its digital and social media channels.