Monday, 12 December 2011

IG Markets to sponsor domestic team in 2012

(image credit: Sigma Sport)
IG Markets has confirmed that it will sponsor Team Sigma Sport starting in 2012, with the team changing its name to IG-Sigma Sport. The deal will last for an initial period of two years.

IG, a British company in the financial services sector, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and FTSE-250 indices. The organisation began sponsoring Team Sky at the start of 2011 and has increased its support for cycling over the course of the year, expressing a wish to become "much more than just a logo on the Team Sky kit." To date, they have sponsored the leader's jersey at the Tour of Britain, the Rapha Cycle Club (a mobile cafe, display area and retail space that has proved very successful in bringing people with little previous interest in cycling to races) and three stages at the Tour Down Under. In addition, they worked with Opta to create the IG Markets Pro-Cycling Index, an online service considered by many to be a more accurate representation of rider ability than the UCO rankings system and provided assistance to the Smithfield Nocturne, an event that brings competitive cycling to inner city communities and is highly likely to produce the British champions of the future.

This is undoubtedly fantastic news after a year that has seen so many teams either folding completely or battling against crippling financial difficulties as sponsors have left the sport. Sigma Sport has not yet announced whether it plans to expand its programme with help from its new partner, but failing to move into women's racing after securing backing from an organisation that so obviously wishes to help develop British cycling would seem a missed opportunity - and with women's cycling suffering even more than men's in the current climate, the news will be even more welcome if they choose to go in that direction.

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