Spon­sors line up for Kenny deal af­ter Rio

Six-time gold medal­list’s agent al­ready has deals in the pipe­line

Cycling Weekly - - News -

ason Kenny is primed to sign the kind of ma­jor per­sonal spon­sor­ship deals that have eluded him un­til now, fol­low­ing his haul of three gold medals at the Rio Olympic Games.

Kenny was al­ready the holder of three Olympic golds go­ing into the Rio Games fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful cam­paign in Lon­don in 2012. But in the in­ter­ven­ing years he did not land a ma­jor spon­sor, lead­ing him to quip in in­ter­views in July that he was not “pretty” enough to do so.

But his el­e­va­tion to one of the most suc­cess­ful Bri­tish Olympians along­side Chris Hoy is set to change that.

Speak­ing ahead of Kenny’s suc­cess, his man­ager Luke Lloyd Davies, CEO of Rocket Sports Man­age­ment, said: “We have got things in the pipe­line that will be signed af­ter the Games. They are pretty ma­jor spon­sors.”

He added that he an­tic­i­pated land­ing fur­ther deals once Kenny had in­creased his medal haul. “Post-olympics it does tend to free up more time [for spon­sor­ship ac­tiv­ity] be­cause it’s the start of an­other four-year Olympic cy­cle,” he said.

Lloyd Davies de­clined to give fig­ures for any deals but other ex­perts that Cy­cling Weekly spoke to said a six-time Olympic gold medal­list could re­al­is­ti­cally com­mand an an­nual in­come of around £250,000 from spon­sor­ship and per­sonal ap­pear­ances.

Kenny him­self cut a re­laxed fig­ure in the wake of his Rio suc­cess. When asked about whether he was ex­pect­ing his pre­vi­ous lack of spon­sor­ship earn­ings, he said: “It used to frus­trate me a lit­tle bit see­ing guys around me get­ting cars and things like that but I’m re­ally happy with the way things have turned out.

“I like to fly un­der the radar a lit­tle bit and be able to live my life. It’s not as though I’m starv­ing to death, it’s not like I can com­plain.” ands up who has got post-games de­pres­sion. The last cou­ple of weeks will surely have been truly amaz­ing for any sports fol­lower. For those di­rectly in­volved with all the per­for­mances there will be a huge spec­trum of feel­ings and emo­tions. Those who have ex­celled will no doubt be very happy with them­selves.

For many, how­ever, there will be frus­tra­tion and heartache. For those ath­letes, their fam­i­lies and coaches, tears will prob­a­bly play a big part in the griev­ing over an Olympics that would have, should have, or could have been. That’s what makes the Games so spe­cial. The chances come only ev­ery four years. If you mist­ime your per­for­mance, you’re ill, or in­jured, then that could be it.

This could have been those peo­ple’s last and fi­nal Olympics, and for some sports, the best in the world never ac­tu­ally be­come Olympic cham­pion. For our track riders, how­ever, that’s not a con­ver­sa­tion that needs to be had. Just a brief glance at the record books will be enough to con­vince any­one that Bri­tain’s pres­ence on the podium was not just a lucky flash in the pan.

A few na­tions have raised a ques­tion mark over GB’S dom­i­nance yet again. Well maybe they should be ques­tion­ing their own prepa­ra­tion. Take the men’s TT for in­stance.

Down in 29th place was the French rider Alexis Vuiller­moz. At eight min­utes 28 sec­onds down on the winner Fabian Can­cel­lara, no amount of equip­ment choices would have brought him close to the podium. But that’s not the point. The sight of a rider from a World­tour squad — and of a na­tion that holds cy­cling as a na­tional sport — sprint­ing up the fin­ish straight of Olympic time trial, on a stan­dard road bike with clipon aero bars was, I’m afraid, just damn right ridicu­lous.

If these so-called power na­tions of cy­cling can’t even get this ob­vi­ous equip­ment choice right, how on earth are they to stay com­pet­i­tive. Rather than rais­ing their eye­brows, they should just turn up to any of our evening club TTS, where there’s a plethora of aero equip­ment. That should be enough to get them tak­ing a long hard look in the mir­ror.

“The sight of a World­tour rider sprint­ing up the fin­ish straight of the Olympic time trial on a stan­dard road bike was ridicu­lous”

For­mer dou­ble world track cham­pion, Rob Hayles is a pun­dit for TV and ra­dio. He’s also a cof­fee con­nois­seur and gar­den shed in­ven­tor

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