Velon has partnered with Infront Sports & Media to gainaccess to Infront’s technology, media production and sports marketing expertise. The first phase of the 10-year partnership deal will enable streaming of live race data.
Infront works with subsidiaries Host Broadcast Services (HBS) and Omnigon. The agreement will result in the ability for bikes to carry the necessary technology to live stream performance data and video to feed into the race coverage.
Data capture will include various streams, however what will be publically visible is subject to the outcomes of discussions with stakeholders such as teams, riders, event organisers, the UCI, and broadcasters.
This data will be aggregated, interpreted and made available to race organisers for their broadcasters for use in the race coverage. Data will be handled sensitively so as to respect rider privacy rights and will use filters to ensure that live usage does not deliver a competitive advantage or disadvantage during a race.
Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon said: "We are delighted to be partnered with Infront Sports & Media. Our partnership enables us to make a major step forward to enable data to be shared with fans and it is going to be fantastic. This is something that has been available in other sports and now we’re bringing it to cycling so fans can better engage with the riders and get a much better experience.”
He added: “We have spent over a year investigating potential partners that understood our goals and could assist us in achieving them. Infront Sports & Media have a vast amount of experience in this area and will be pivotal in developing a sustainable and long term future for pro-cycling.”
Stephan Herth, executive director of Infront Sports & Media, said: “Cycling is a key sport in Infront’s long-term strategy and also an important pillar of the wider Wanda Sports Holding business. We are therefore proud to partner with Velon in revolutionising the cycling experience of the fans, as well as the way that the sport is positioned and marketed in the digital sphere."
Since February 2015 Infront Sports & Media has been owned by Dalian Wanda Group of China, a congromerate founded by Wang Jianlin, one of China’s richest men.
At the time of the purchase of Infront Jianlin said: “This acquisition of Infront will significantly increase the future impact of the Wanda Group in the culture and entertainment industry and will also drive the development of Chinese sports industry and its interest around the globe.
"Infront … is best-positioned to actively support China in its bidding efforts for major sports events, as it is already involved in the planning, delivering, marketing and servicing of a broad array of top international events. By acquiring Infront, Wanda will also be in a position to increase its influence in the global sports industry and help raising the level of competition in Chinese sports.”