In the life 'cycle' of a brand, CSR (corporate social responsibility) plays an important role and what better a cause to support than a healthy 'Cyclothon'!
Sport18, the sports marketing division of the Network18 group and ID Sports, a sports management company, have joined hands with TI Cycles and the Salman Khan Foundation- Being Human to launch India's first ever international cycling event, Mumbai Cyclothon - Tour De Mumbai, to be held at Bandra Reclamation on Sunday, February 21. The event coincides with the Mumbai chapter of the BSA Hercules India Cyclothon - Mumbai 2010, a community ride to promote the practice of cycling in the city.
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Various marketing initiatives have been initiated around the event, including outdoor, print and television advertising. Billboards in and around Bandra in Mumbai, where the Cyclothon kicks off, are carrying advertisements for the event.
The organisers have joined hands with various event partners, including Café Coffee Day, Trident, Cinemax, Network18, Bisleri, Times of India, Tata Group, Lilavati Hospital, Red FM, Bright Outdoor Media, Call Life and The John Gloster Studio, topdoctorsonline.com and Topspin.
Café Coffee Day will provide snacks and refreshments at the Cyclothon. The coffee chain had also put up standees at most of its outlets in Mumbai, giving information about the event and how people can register. Bisleri, another partner, will also provide water bottles to all participants. Red FM plans to have a live radio booth at the event, while Lilavati Hospital will take care of medical support. The Khar-Bandra-Santacruz (KBS) Foundation has also extended its support and will organise a Car Free Day at Carter Road.
The BSA Hercules India Cyclothon will have multiple categories such as the Amateur ride of 24 kms, the Corporate/group ride of 24 kms, the Green ride of 12 kms and the Kid's ride for youngsters in the age group of 8-13 years, spanning 2 kms. The Tata Group has partnered the Kid's ride that aims at motivating the city's GenNext to carry forth the important message of cycling for fitness and for the environment.
More than 150 children have already registered to participate in this exciting event, with more participation expected.
R Gopalakrishnan, executive director, Tata Sons, says, "The Tata Group has a long standing belief in improving the quality of life of the communities we serve. We believe that one part of improving the quality of life includes empowering communities to make informed decisions on their health and environment. Our association with the Mumbai Cyclothon is an effective and active platform that raises awareness on the importance of a clean environment and good health for a better tomorrow."
Having mobilised the approval of the International Cycling Union (UCI), the international race will be listed under the Category 1.2 of the Asia Tour. The race will see the top 13 professional cycling teams in the world competing with each other. Some of the biggest names from the world of cycling, such as Stuart O' Grady, Brad McGee, Baden Cooke, Scott McGory and Jan Kirsipu will compete for the top honours.
The Indian national cycling team participating in the Commonwealth Games will be the 14th team. The race will be governed by UCI regulations.
After the success of the Bengaluru Cyclothon, TI Cycles, in the 60th year of its operations in India, is carrying forward its association with the event as the principal partner for India Cyclothon - Mumbai 2010.
"We aim to help put Mumbai on the international cycling map, as well as contribute to a healthier and greener environment through the BSA Hercules India Cyclothon, Mumbai-2010," says Dr. D Raghuram, president, TI Cycles.
"Brand BSA and Hercules have touched millions of lives over the last 60 years. We have been promoting cycling in India through various programmes such as the Hercules MTB Himachal, BSA Hercules Duathlon, mountain biking tracks and rental programmes at tourist destinations across India," he adds.
Dr. Akil Khan, chairperson and managing director, ID Sports, says, "We want Mumbai Cyclothon-Tour De Mumbai to be India's answer to the Tour De France in the coming few years, under the aegis of UCI and CFI."
He adds, "ID Sports wants to promote cycling to enable healthy hearts and beating heart disease in the country. Our effort to defeat this major killer is our primary objective in driving international cycling into India; to revolutionise our population to take up to fitness through cycling. On this occasion, we are launching India's first online healthcare portal, Topdoctorsonline.com, to enable rural India to have access to the best doctors in the country through the portal."
Topdoctorsonline.com, promoted by Medisurge Technologies, is a unique dynamic health care portal and a source for trustworthy health and medical news and information. Its prime objective is to build a strong bridge between top medical professionals and primary healthcare centres of villages through the 'charitable e-clinic' programme for rural India.
Satish Menon, chief executive officer, Sport18, says, "As a part of our endeavour to make cycling a national movement, the second edition of the India Cyclothon comes to Mumbai. The growing number of cycling clubs in the city is a testimony to the increasing popularity of cycling as a sport. International cyclists will make this event even larger, thus positioning the BSA Hercules India Cyclothon, Mumbai-2010 as the pioneering cycling event in India."