A Look at Some of Cycling’s Most Unique Sponsors


Sports sponsorships are some of the most interesting in the world. Because professional sports are highly visible and globally popular, it makes sense for companies to appeal to fans—even if their product or service is unrelated to the sport in question. Movistar, for example, isn’t directly related to cycling—but it’s one of the most visible sponsors in the industry. 

Another unique sponsorship example in cycling is poker. Back in 2020, PokerStars launched a Grand Tour-themed game. The sit-and-go style game was designed to appeal to cycling fans who also enjoy playing poker. Because the PokerStars platform is one of the most visible brands in the world in terms of poker, the goal was to treat players who also enjoy cycling to a unique and immersive crossover gaming experience.

But what about certified sponsors? When looking at Grand Tour clubs, it’s obvious that major sponsors don’t need a longstanding affiliation with cycling to fund successful teams. Still, some sponsors are more memorable than others. Let’s dive in.

Bora: The Cooking Tool

Every cycling fan knows about Bora-Hansgrohe—but do you know about the companies behind these names? Hansgrohe manufactures supplies like shower heads and faucet taps. While manufacturing and cycling might not have much in common, these types of sponsorships aren’t exactly breaking news. However, the Bora brand is a little more intriguing as it’s attempting to redesign the modern kitchen. 

One of the company’s branches focuses on alternative exhaust systems in kitchens with the goal of replacing the exhaust hoods placed above stoves. To do this, Bora has created a ‘cooking extractor’ system. The Bora system works by funneling fumes from the stovetop into a purifying system. Fumes that can’t be purified are disposed of. It’s a handy idea, especially considering how often cyclists sit down to eat. Still, it’s one of the stranger big-name sponsors in cycling.

Eberspächer: Transport of All Types

For those who don’t know, Eberspächer has been sponsoring Danny MacAskill for the last few years. Once again, we’re taken into a semi-related and peripheral cycling space, as Eberspächer focuses on a few different products—transportation included. The company primarily develops and manufactures products related to vehicle exhausts, heating, and air-conditioning. 

Interestingly enough, one of Eberspächer’s most recent projects revolves around hydrogen engines. Despite the fact that hydrogen engines are largely green, there are certain emissions that require treatment. Eberspächer’s goal is to create solutions for processing these types of emissions, which means it aligns easily with cycling’s emphasis on green transportation.

NextHash: Cryptos & NFTs

Cycling, in its own unique way, has been part of the crypto boom. Though many cycling sponsors are focused on manufacturing, insurance, and communications, there were a few tech companies interested in sponsoring a Grand Tour team. Enter Team Qhubeka NextHash.

Back in 2015, Team TQA became the first African team to qualify for the Tour de France. Like many success stories, the team was gearing up for a huge rebrand from primary sponsor Dimension Data. A new company, NextHash Group, threw its hat into the ring shortly after. NextHash was an NFT-centric platform that was designed to expand crypto and NFT interests. This marked one of the biggest modern tech movements in the cycling world. Unfortunately, what could have been one of the most meaningful crossovers between decentralized finance and cycling fizzled out when NextHash dropped out. This move eventually contributed to Team Qhubeka’s dissolution later that year.

Bahrain Victorious: State Funds

Let’s jump over to explore a relatively new quantity in cycling: state-funded teams. Back in 2017, Bahrain’s Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa launched a new club, Bahrain-Merida. The sponsorship is the result of multiple Bahrainian companies banding together, including the state-owned development board and the largest petrol company.

Despite a rough start back in 2017, Bahrain Victorious took off after a rebranding in 2021. While many raised their brows at the state sponsor, the team’s incremental growth and success have shifted the outlook on its sponsor. Over the last few years, the team has boosted its performance for both its male and female teams on both long and short courses.


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