Sponsorship of professional cycling is a complex project. Sponsoring a team helps the business or brand in a number of ways, awareness and reach, content, engagement, validation, product testing and development. They are all important and, in our business, we have what we call an attribution model that measures the value of each area and how we can make that better.
You quickly realise that it is not an exact science and there are a number of steps to take on both sides, the team and the sponsor, to get the most out of the partnership. Therefore, it is essential to have a strong relationship to build a plan and execute the steps needed. It’s like a chain of steps, if one link is missing it all becomes worthless and you cannot extract the value.
At Le Col we test every product to guarantee it is of the highest standard by the time it gets put into production, this goes the same for men’s and women’s garments. We then supply our teams and continue our never-ending pursuit of improvements with feedback from riders in all the conditions they train and race in. This process is also a very interesting one, it is important to understand the difference between preference and performance.
If someone does not like a certain product because it may not be fitting perfectly, we need to understand is that a rider’s preference, or does this present the need to adapt the product to perform better. Having said that, we do also tailor our garments in certain instances for individual riders, to make sure it is optimal, and performs 100% as well as it could do. Not everyone is the same size and shape, and naturally this can need adaptions, usually reserved for the team leaders, you have to earn that kind of service as a Pro.
It is really important we work closely with our teams, integrity is central to our brand and we really do care that we produce good kit to race and train in. We need to make sure we listen to riders when they have feedback, so they know we will develop products to suit them better, they are ambassadors of the brand, on and off the bike, so we want to make sure they like the kit they have to use for a full season. Genuine endorsements are worth so much more.
We are really pleased to partner with Drops and have worked well together for the last two seasons, to deliver not just good kit technically, but beautifully designed kit visually. Drops have a long creative heritage and their striking kit designs are entirely down to their innovative inhouse design team.
Long may our partnership continue.