The latest release from the International Cycling Union, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), points to a strengthening financial position for the pro peloton in 2012. Citing a report by auditors Ernst & Young, UCI notes that, while the number of men’s professional cycling teams has remained relatively stable over the last few years, their total budgets have increased by more than one third since 2009.
According to UCI, this shows that cycling is in a healthy position and resisting the effects of the current global economic downturn.
In 2009, the total budget for the 39 professional men’s teams was €235 million. In 2012, there are 40 professional teams (18 UCI ProTeams and 22 UCI Professional Continental Teams) with a total budget of €321 million, according to the Ernst & Young report on the economic situation of the professional peloton. This represents an increase of 36.5%.
These figures show that the investment by sponsors continues to increase as they demonstrate their support for the sport of cycling. In 2012, there are 61 principal sponsors for the 40 professional teams, providing 73% of the teams’ revenue. This figure increases to 95% when grouped with other remaining (non-principal) sponsors.
In a similar vein the average annual salary of a rider with a UCI ProTeam has risen from €190,000 in 2009 to €264,000 in 2012.
UCI President Pat McQuaid commented, “It is very pleasing to see that men’s professional cycling is prospering in these difficult times. Most of the cyclists within the professional peloton can live very well, or at least comfortably, on their salaries thanks to the support of sponsors who invest in this sport. These sponsors are attracted by the extremely good visibility cycling provides them throughout the year.”