Before Sky ride became Sky Ride, it was the London FreeWheel. Based on the idea of bikes taking over the capital across a traffic-free route, it was a storming success and set in motion the Sky Ride programme. Limelight Sports was one of the players who helped put together that formative first Freewheel event back in 2007 and has continued to work with Sky Ride since.
Since then the company’s cycle portfolio has continued to grow. Fresh off the back of its Royal Bank of Canada V Series on the closed roads of Canary Wharf, and with the Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace ride and London Duathlon coming up in a packed event schedule, BikeBiz speaks with Leyanne Jenkins, director of cycling at Limelight Sports to find out more…
How long has Limelight Sports been established?
Limelight Sports is a participation sport engagement agency, we have been delivering sports participation experiences for over 20 years. We see participation as a journey, with events being a milestone within that timeline. We bring brands and communities together through sport, offering multiple touch points throughout the participants’ journey.
Which events is Limelight best known for?
Capitalising on the ever-increasing popularity of mass participation sporting events, the agency has created and delivered some of the most high profile, and most talked about sports participation experiences including the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile, Sky Ride and J.P.Morgan Corporate Challenge London and Sydney. We also work with major global brands such as Nike, J.P.Morgan, Wiggle and Virgin Australia. Limelight Sports also organises Swimathon, the world’s biggest fundraising swimming challenge, and works with the Royal Parks Foundation to stage a unique half marathon in London. Additionally, the agency owns properties such as Race the World, the first fully supported round the world cycling race for amateurs and London Duathlon, the world’s biggest Duathlon.
You’ve an arm in Australia too – did that come before or after the one in the UK?
Yes, we have offices in London, UK; Melbourne, Australia and Dubai, UAE. The Australian arm was established in 2004, with Dubai launching earlier this year.
Has the amount of time and events you run dedicate to cycling increased over that period?
Yes, we have seen an explosion in the popularity of ‘doorstep’ sports, and cycling is a sport which has increased hugely in popularity over the course of recent years. The demand for mass participation cycling experiences has increased accordingly, with many of our clients and partners recognising this popularity and wishing to offer quality cycling experiences.
Limelight Sports has been at the forefront of the development of mass participation cycling experiences, designing and delivering events such as London Freewheel, the first central London closed road cycling event, and continuing to develop the event as it became Mayor of London Sky Ride, and working with clients such as the Prince’s Trust, delivering the annual Palace to Palace cycle ride. The agency continues to develop bespoke cycling experiences, partnering with Royal Bank of Canada on V Series to deliver an exciting programme of cycling training and racing, which draws on the experience of Shane Sutton OBE, Technical Director at British Cycling. Race the World, offering amateurs a fully supported bike race in unique places around the World, begins in November in USA.
Leyanne Jenkins, cycling account director at Limelight Sports
Previously responsible for the technical and operational delivery of BMX at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and former British Cycling’s major events team, delivering Track Cycling, MTB and BMX world cups and championship events. Also nominated one of BikeBiz Top 50 Women in Cycling.
Gary Willis, race director on Royal Bank of Canada V Series.
Former British Cycling Coach, Scottish Cycling Performance Manager and responsible for the technical delivery of London 2012 Olympic Road Cycling Race and Time Trial.