A few weeks after sponsoring the Tour de France, ŠKODA AUTO once again shows great support at a prominent international cycling event. It is the fourth time that the Czech manufacturer has been the official sponsor of the legendary Spanish cycling tour (La Vuelta). The focus of ŠKODA’s involvement is its provision of 60 vehicles. In addition, the brand is also involved in a wide range of communication activity around the Vuelta event.
The Spanish tour ranks among the ‘Grand Tours’ of cycling and is considered to be, after the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, the most important stage race in the world. It begins on the 23rd August with the team time trials taking place in the Andalusian town of Jerez de la Frontera. The three-week cycling tour ends on the 14th September with the concluding individual time trial at the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostella.
“Our comprehensive and visible commitment to cycling strengthens the image and the prominence of the ŠKODA brand,” says Werner Eichhorn, ŠKODA Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “For several years now, with both the Tour de France and the Vuelta, ŠKODA has supported two legendary and world-renowned sporting events and as a result has achieved a high level of international recognition. As a manufacturer whose beginnings came from the production of bicycles, cycling is a sport that is especially close to our hearts,” states Eichhorn.
At the beginning of March 2014, ŠKODA extended its sponsorship of La Vuelta and the Tour de France for another five years, renewing it up to 2018. The agreement also covers other international cycling events.
Once again, ŠKODA has provided a strong vehicle fleet for this cycling competition in Spain. Over the next three weeks, a total of 60 vehicles from Czech Republic – primarily ŠKODA Octavia Combis (1) and ŠKODA Superbs (2) – will be used around the clock as escort vehicles. Since the start of the ŠKODA sponsorship in 2011, all organisers and participants of the Spanish tour have been able to count on the one hundred per cent reliable ŠKODA fleet. At the Vuelta, the vehicles cover approximately half a million kilometres. In total, over the last four years, the cars have been used for around two million kilometres – and all this without so much as one mechanical failure.
ŠKODA accompanies the sponsorship of the Spanish cycling tour with a wealth of communication activity. This includes the presentation at the ‘Parque Vuelta’ as well as advertising banners and signage along the route and at eye-catching points. Besides advertising in Spanish newspapers and magazines, particular attention is paid to electronic media. Amongst other things, the manufacturer has an online presence of La Vuelta at facebook.com/skoda-cycling. ŠKODA’s presence can also be seen at ‘WeLoveCycling.com’. The website www.skoda-radsport.de is an information platform offering live reports, videos and brief summaries from the wide world of cycling. In addition, ŠKODA will have its own blog. Spanish dealerships will also be closely involved in La Vuelta on a regional level.
Besides ice hockey, cycling is the most important pillar of ŠKODA’s sponsorship strategy. The manufacturer not only promotes professional tours but also amateur cycling. Amongst other things, ŠKODA is a main partner of the largest international mountain bike event ‘Kolo pro život’ (Cycling for Life). In Germany, the brand also sponsors, and is the name behind, the ŠKODA velodrome in Cologne, the ŠKODA cycling tour in Frankfurt and the ŠKODA cycling race in Dresden. ŠKODA is also a vehicle partner of the ‘Garmin Velothon Berlin’, the ‘Vattenfall Cyclassics’ in Hamburg and the ‘Sparkassen Münsterland Giro’. In the UK, ŠKODA is a partner of ‘Ride London’.
The passion for cycling has been a tradition for ŠKODA. The company’s history began in 1895 with the production of bicycles: Václav Laurin und Václav Klement founded a factory, under the name LK, for the production of bicycles in Mladá Boleslav – it was around ten years before the company released its first car.
The Spanish tour is one of the three largest international stage races and last year millions of excited cycling fans took to the streets to watch the event. This year’s Vuelta will be broadcast worldwide to 190 countries and will capture some 2.2 million viewers. In particular, the spectacular ‘mountain stages’ are amongst the best that international cycling has to offer. La Vuelta will feature hills climbs again this year. The 3.181 kilometre tour includes 13 hill and mountain stages.
1) Octavia 2015 Combi: urban 8,4 – 3,8 l/100km, extra urban 5,7 – 3 l/100km,
combined 6,7 – 3,2 l/100km, CO2 emissions combined 156 – 85 g/km,
CO2 efficiency class D – A+,
urban 4,5 kg/100km, extra urban 2,9 kg/100km, combined 3,5 kg/100km
2) Superb 2015: urban 13,1 – 5,2 l/100km, extra urban 7,1 – 3,6 l/100km,
combined 9,4 – 4,2 l/100km, CO2 emissions combined 217 – 109 g/km,
CO2 efficiency class F – A