The hugely successful partnership between British Cycling and Sky is to end next year.
Described as an “amicable” split by both parties, the last 7 years have been mutually beneficial, with Sky’s money helping to further British Cycling’s reach and success, while also promoting events like the Sky Ride.
To underline the cordial nature of the break-up, Sky will be working with British Cycling to find its own replacement when the deal ends.
“British Cycling and Sky will remain firm friends and part with great mutual affection, having achieved amazing things together,” said British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake.
“Sky gave British Cycling the platform from which to communicate the best of the sport and, through British Cycling, Sky has delivered lasting and positive change.
“Successes for British riders at London 2012 transformed the country’s sporting expectations but winning medals was never an end in itself – we have harnessed those achievements to inspire unprecedented growth in participation.”
Drake added that there was “still a great deal to do” not least getting more women to take up the sport. He also said that they had developed a “clear commercial approach” to support its 2017-2025 strategy.
However, the timing of the partnership’s end is likely to put more pressure on the performance of Manchester Velodrome-based British Cycling, as it falls after the Rio Olympics.
“We’re immensely proud of our great partnership with the whole team at British Cycling. Together we have helped to transform the sport at all levels including over 1.7m more people cycling regularly and unprecedented medal success,” added Sky group chief executive Jeremy Darroch.
“This is a lasting legacy and we will give everything to make the final 18 months of our relationship just as successful. Our long-term commitment to cycling continues and we will work with British Cycling to identify a new partner who can help bring even more success in the future.”
Sky will continue to work in cycling, sponsoring Team Sky and Team Wiggins.