At the surface, New Balance seems an odd sponsor for a professional cycling team. Perhaps, the Running Warehouse blog is an unusual place to find a blog about a professional cycling team. That said, we’ve got these shoes in our warehouse and we are pumped for this year’s Tour de France.
With one of the younger stars of the peloton, Andrew Talansky, coming off of his win at Le Critérium du Dauphiné, the NB logo on the left breast of the team uniform is primed for some exposure in July’s Tour. The American’s rise to prominence is well timed for New Balance, a company that regularly boasts about the footwear that they create in American factories.
That said, sports sponsorship is a lot more than logo exposure. Ideal partnerships add value to the sports property beyond a check and the company gets to tell a story about how they help the team to glory beyond putting food on their table. So what is the story that New Balance is creating? New Balance makes shoes and apparel for several sports, but Cycling is not one of them and Team Garmin-Sharp already has an apparel sponsor in Castelli.
Officially, New Balance is the “exclusive off-bike footwear and athletic clothing supplier” to the team. They will provide shoes, like those above, as well as apparel for the team to wear when they aren’t tearing up the streets on their bikes on the pro tour. The argyle infused 890v4 has already graced podiums around the world and there is a good chance that the shoes will be leaving footprints on podiums in France. The team is certainly adorned in New Balance when they hit the gym or trails for cross-training. They did just that when some of the riders traveled to Boulder to run with New Balance’s Jenny Simpson, Emma Coburn and Anton Krupicka.
By partnering with slipstream sports (the company behind team Garmin-Sharp), New Balance is associating with the most technologically advanced team on the tour. With technological titans, Garmin and Sharp, as the title sponsors, along with trend setting company Cervello as the bike supplier, the riders are guaranteed to have some of the most advanced equipment on the tour. Through New Balance’s relationship with slipstream, they will be privy latest in endurance electronics from Garmin and the creative ways that Sharp’s vast line of products is used to give the team an advantage in training and racing. This is at the heart of New Balance’s decision to sponsor the team.
New Balance is no stranger to innovative products. The 890v4 is a great example, having won Runner’s World’s Best Update award. As New Balance continues to advance the world of shoes and apparel, team Garmin-Sharp will have another point of access to the latest technology for athletes. So, while New Balance does not make bike specific apparel or footwear, advances in materials and technology for athletes have a way of spreading across the entire sports spectrum.
So if you are a fan of cycling, like many runners are (including this office), we have a great looking pair of shoes (women click here) that let you show your love for both running and cycling. Also, our partner Art’s Cyclery has a great selection of Team Garmin-Sharp gear.