On the eve of
the Tour de France this weekend, the U.K. top road-cycling team, Team Sky, has added another entertainment unit as a major sponsor from News Corp: 21th Century Fox.
The team has been
sponsored by British Sky Broadcasting, a News Corp. satellite-delivered TV service based in Europe, since 2010. Team Sky won the Tour de France a year ago with Bradley Wiggins, the first British rider
to win the big three-week race.
The move looks to heighten marketing awareness over News Corp.'s recent move into two separately traded companies -- News Corp., controlling its
print/newspaper businesses, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post
and HarperCollins; and 21st Century Fox, the newly named division of its media, entertainment, movie
studio and TV assets, including Fox Broadcasting, and cable channels like Fox News and FX.
A study from industry publication Cycling News
and company Repucom said Team Sky gave
more media value to their partners and sponsors last season than any other cycling team, delivering over $550 million in advertising value. That's the highest amount achieved by any professional
Analysts believe the high-profile Team Sky also benefitted greatly from 2012's Tour de France airing on terrestrial, over-the-air U.K. TV channel ITV -- from emblazoned bike jerseys
with the Sky name to constant mentions of the team by sports commentators. (BSkyB and ITV are TV network competitors.)
This year, Team Sky has been picked as a strong favorite to again win
the big bike race in France -- with Chris Froome touted as a strong favorite to win the overall race.