Team Raleigh today unveiled a partnership with Derby County Football Club, which will see the former display the logo of the Sky Bet Championship side on its jersey and team cars in 2014.

The deal, which was announced at the football club’s iPro Stadium this morning, is aimed at boosting the stature of both teams at home and abroad.

Raleigh team manager told CW: “The whole thing is to raise the teams’ profile. We’re honoured to be involved with such a fantastic club.

“We were introduced to [Derby’s Chief Operating Officer] John Vicars about three or four months ago. I told him about our plans for the future, and I asked him to get involved as part of our increasing network of partners.”

The deal has already helped the cycling team gain a new backer in Berkshire-based iPro, a global sports’ drink and nutrition company, who recently also signed a 10-year stadium naming rights deal with the football club.

“More than 50% of our annual turnover comes from commercial sponsorship deals,” explained Vicars, who will also become Raleigh’s UK Patron.

“We’ve got around 100 such deals in place. If we’re operating in that world, the same world in which cycling teams need to be active in to continue, it’s probably an advantage for us to advise Team Raleigh in the area.”

There is a synergy between the two sporting outfits: the cycling team is attempting to progress through the cycling ranks in the coming years to emulate what the TI-Raleigh squad achieved between 1974 and 1983, while Derby – a founder member of the Football League in 1888 – are seeking to gain a place in the sport’s top division for the 2014/2015 season.

“For us to progress as a team, it’s a step-by-step journey,” added Pridham. “I think we’re at the stage now where we need to starting looking for corporate partners to help take Raleigh back up to the top levels of the sport. It’s difficult finding those people and companies, so we have to be realistic and have a natural progression.”


Cherie Pridham and John Vicars at today’s launch

iPro have also signed up to sponsor Raleigh – although the team are keeping their 2014 kit and colours under wraps until their February team launch.

Photo: Andy Whitehouse

Photo: Andy Whitehouse