HSBC is reportedly set to replace Sky as the sponsor of British Cycling in a multi-million deal that will see the banking group capitalise on the explosion of interest around the sport following Team GB’s medal-laden success at the Rio Olympics.
Official confirmation of the deal is expected to come this weekend when HSBC holds its first cycling festival in Birmingham on Sunday (18 September).
News of a new sponsor for British Cycling has been expected after Sky announced last year that it would not be renewing its deal.
At the time a Sky spokesperson said: “After achieving all of our goals, it is the natural time to move on after eight successful years."
The decision to end its relationship, which began with the 2008 Beijing Olympics in which British Cycling won eight gold medals, comes as the Sky undertakes a number of budget cuts to fund the £4.2bn broadcast deal with the Premier League.
Team Sky, the professional road team starring Chris Froome and run by Sir Dave Brailsford, will not be affected by the changes after Brailsford struck a deal to keep Sky as the name sponsors until at least 2020.
HSBC’s decision to take over the sponsorship of the UK cycling governing body comes as the sport is at an all-time high after Britain’s six gold and 12 medals overall ensured it top the medals table in the sport for the third successive Olympics.
The UK banking group has previously sponsored worldwide golf and rugby sevens, however they opted not to sponsor the British and Irish Lions for their 2017 tour to New Zealand, perhaps to allocate the investment into its cycling sponsorship.
HSBC has already upped its involvement with cycling after taking over Sky’s traffic-free city-centre community events and rebranding it Bikefest.