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HSBC UK to end its sponsorship with British Cycling

British Cycling announced last week that HSBC UK is going to end its sponsorship with the federation following this Olympic Games cycle. In a press statement, HSBC UK has decided to launch a break clause in which was an eight-year partnership agreement because of a shift in UK marketing and partnership priorities.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling, said that they will part with HSBC UK as firm friends and meanwhile, look forward to working with them to support their riders to achieve their best in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The bank and British Cycling started their partnership with in 2016 by an eight-year agreement with one of the targets getting two million people cycling by the end of 2020.

According to a press release, there have been 525,000 people taking part in HSBC UK Go Ride, HSBC UK Breeze, HSBC UK Ready Set Ride, and HSBC UK Let’s Ride in 2019.

In the last two decades, British Cycling was among the most successful cycling countries in the world with great riders including Olympic gold medalists Jason Kenny and Laura Kenny, two former road race world champions Lizzie Deignan and Mark Cavendish, and former Tour de France winners Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, and Geraint Thomas.

However, British Cycling has recently been involved in two on-going and highly-publicized cases at the General Medical Council (GMC) and the employment tribunal. 

Moreover, there have been repeated delays to decide whether former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman is fit or not to practice medicine. He accepted 18 of the 22 allegations but disputed the delivery of testosterone to British Cycling HQ and Team Sky that same year.

As a reason for the sponsorship loss, British Cycling did not mention either case. However, it showed clearly that HSBC UK decided to exercise a break clause due to a shift in UK marketing and partnership priorities.