Škoda has become the latest brand to get on its bike to exploit the launch of this year’s Tour de France in Britain, launching an online game which encourages consumers to build their own fantasy team.
The car company has actually been manufacturing bikes for longer than cars; when it launched in 1895 the first products it manufactured were bicycles. The first car, the Voiturette A, was not built until 1905.
Devised by AIS London and based on fantasy football, contestants choose nine riders from the current top tier tour teams – including the likes of Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador – and can then ride against all-comers or set up their own personal leagues with friends, colleagues and fellow riders.
Fantasy riders can be transferred in and out of teams during the gruelling race just in case their real-life counterparts crash out or get injured.
Players will compete at each stage of the tour to get hold of prizes including a VIP trip to next year’s event as well as a top of the range Škoda road bike and a selection of professional Škoda cycling equipment and clothing worn by professionals.
AIS partnered with cycling experts Road.cc to create the digital campaign, while professional cyclists Ed Clancy and Chris Opie have created videos to help everyone get on board. The push is being backed by activity on Škoda UK’s Facebook and Twitter channels, where spot prizes will be given away during the event.
Škoda UK marketing communications manager Emily Burns said: “As a brand, Škoda has been behind cycling for over 100 years and this year marks 11 years of Le Tour sponsorship. We are the ‘Team behind the Teams’ and really feel like this campaign brings Le Tour to the masses by connecting the event with a broad digital audience.”
AIS executive creative director Geoff Gower added: “With Le Tour kicking off in Britain this year, it just felt right to give fans more of what they love and get them closer to one of the fastest growing sports in the world.”
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