British Cycling agrees 8-year sponsorship with Shell

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British Cycling has signed a long-term partnership that will bring wide-ranging support and investment from Shell UK as a new Official Partner. The agreement starts this month and runs to the end of 2030.

This new partnership will see a shared commitment to; supporting Great Britain’s cyclists and para-cyclists through the sharing of world-class innovation and expertise; accelerating British Cycling’s path to net zero; and helping more – and wider groups of – people to ride, including ways to make cycling more accessible for disabled people.

The partnership fits with British Cycling’s wider ambition to work with a broader range of commercial partners to support the delivery of the organisation’s strategy, ‘Lead Our Sport, Inspire Our Communities’.

Brian Facer, CEO of British Cycling, said:

“We’re looking forward to working alongside Shell UK over the rest of this decade to widen access to the sport, support our elite riders and help our organisation and sport take important steps towards net zero – things we know our members are incredibly passionate about.

“Within our new commercial programme, this partnership with Shell UK brings powerful support for cycling, will help us to improve and will make more people consider cycling and cyclists.”

David Bunch, Shell UK Country Chair, said:

“We’re very proud to become an Official Partner to British Cycling. The partnership reflects the shared ambitions of Shell UK and British Cycling to get to net zero in the UK as well as encouraging low and zero-carbon forms of transport such as cycling and electric vehicles.

“Working together we can deliver real change for people right across the country, from different walks of life, and also apply Shell’s world-leading lubricant technology to support the Great Britain Cycling Team in their quest for gold at the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.” 


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Darren Henry, British Cycling Commercial Director, said:

“At British Cycling we have a strong track record of working with our partners to enhance our work, have a real impact in communities and elevate the role that cycling plays in the thinking and actions of UK businesses.

“The partnership also shows our fresh commercial approach at British Cycling, as we look to work alongside a broader range and number of partners to help us to deliver our strategy and support the long-term growth of cycling and the sport across Britain.”

The agreement includes specific investment from Shell UK to support a new programme – to be named Limitless – which aims to break down the barriers disabled people face when accessing cycling.

The ambition is to embed disability and para sport into the heart of communities and develop a clear pathway from local to elite performance, with the funding helping to create inclusive and accessible environments for disabled riders across British Cycling’s 2,000 registered clubs. The programme will be launched, and further details on how to access the funding made available, by the end of the year.

Shell, which has set five ambitions for 2030 to bolster energy security and help the UK towards net zero, will also support British Cycling through steps such as helping to support British Cycling’s transition to an electric-vehicle fleet. Shell already runs the UK’s largest public-charging network with access to more than 10,000 charging points.

This press release from British Cycling will no doubt raise a few eyebrows. Big energy and cycling? Is this greenwashing? But, on the flip side, has anyone minded the Mercedes Benz sponsorship of the World Cup? Big auto and cycling hardly seems like a likely alignment of values. As British riders, if we want to race anything other than enduro we almost always have to have some affiliation with British Cycling – even if it’s only an extra pound or so on an entry fee to cover a day license. There’s little ‘consumer choice’. Does this announcement affect your perspective on British Cycling membership? Head to the comments, and take our poll.


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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 215 total)
  • British Cycling agrees 8-year sponsorship with Shell
  • rhayter
    Full Member

    Is this story an April Fool’s joke?

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    @rhayter All those follow cars need a fuel supplier

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    Is this story an April Fool’s joke?

    I thought similar. Apparently, in 2005 Shell were the most ethical oil company in the world. And we all know the huge strides they are making towards net-zero because they keep telling us.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    I think they should see if Lance is available to lead this marvelous initiative

    Does stw not want to make a statement on this one? No?

    rhayter
    Full Member

    I mean, yes, Shell are a business and we live in a capitalist society, so there’s that. But come on British Cycling, read the room, eh?

    And as for being ‘the most ethical oil company in the world’… pretty low bar, surely?

    Finally, I own and drive a car. I’m aware of my own hypocrisy.

    fossy
    Full Member

    Blimey, desperate or what !

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Are we still not allowed to cycle on the same day as funerals for people we’ve never met?

    BC are trying to outdo the Tories for great PR…

    snownrock
    Full Member

    I saw this and have requested to cancel my membership, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back after the queen’s funeral mess..A shame after 10+ years but they seem to making so many missteps, CyclingUk seem to meet my needs.

    Do CyclingUk offer accident/legal cover akin to BC (Leigh day)? That’s the main reason I have/had BC membership, the CUK website mentions a legal advice line but is a little inconclusive.

    barney
    Full Member

    Good grief.

    finbar
    Free Member

    Grim.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    apply Shell’s world-leading lubricant technology to support the Great Britain Cycling Team in their quest for gold

    Well I found this. Maybe they thing British Cycling means motor-bicycling?

    Shell Chain Lube Bike Care 200 mL

    footflaps
    Full Member

    I think it’s quite funny – it’s just so completely stupid and inappropriate you couldn’t make this up in a David Brent sitcom….

    seriousrikk
    Full Member

    If ever there was a time when they have completely failed to ‘read the room’ this is it.

    Of all the hundreds of companies they could partner with, ones who actually benefit from people cycling, they chose one of the few companies that benefits from people taking the car. The company that is making record profits on fuel while many people are paying through the nose to stay warm.

    British cycling – GTFO

    thepurist
    Full Member

    I wonder who else they considered as suitable sponsors – GSK?

    StirlingCrispin
    Full Member

    Do CyclingUk offer accident/legal cover akin to BC (Leigh day)?

    Yes: https://www.cycle-sos.co.uk/cycling-uk-incident-line/

    They also have a very active campaign team – many full-time and a fully supported local advocacy network (of which I am one).

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Oh BC.

    stevious
    Full Member

    Really odd move. I want to read a little before making the decision but strongly suspect I’ll be cancelling my membership and joining CyclingUK instead.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    And as for being ‘the most ethical oil company in the world’… pretty low bar, surely?

    I should have made my tongue-in-cheekness more obvious. 😀

    convert
    Full Member

    Do CyclingUk offer accident/legal cover akin to BC (Leigh day)? That’s the main reason I have/had BC membership, the CUK website mentions a legal advice line but is a little inconclusive.

    Yes – but with a caution. There was a thread about this a while back, and I realised I had got the wrong end of the stick previously about what you got with both BC and CUK – both is effectively a no win no fee injury service. i.e. if you have an accident and it’s only your bike that gets squished they are not interested in assisting you. They make their money from their cut of your injury pay out so with no injury there is no fee so they can’t help. Both offer you 3rd party liability which is worth it imo.

    But yes, I think that seals it for me. Cycling is a funny old thing – part sport, part mode of travel (be that commute or recreational). It gets blurred by people interested in the former also doing or being passionate about the latter. I guess there is no particular reason why cycling the sport should be any more ethically aware than any other sport whilst cycling the mode of transport has a very positive ethical/sustainable angle to its purpose and messaging. And with this sponsorship deal, British Cycling are confirmed as completely in the sport camp with very little interest in the broader context. Which is fine if that’s what they think they are for.

    But that’s not me anymore, and not most people too in reality. They just need to keep their heads down and not pretend in any way they speak for the everyday cyclist. CUK need the support, space and voice to do the real work and being the true voice of the cyclist on the streets and the trails and BC can be a rather elitist niche irrelevance in the bigger picture.

    That’s the sane response. What I really wanted to type was – you **** stupid tossers.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    British Cycling are confirmed as completely in the sport camp with very little interest in the broader context

    Exactly. This is not a surprise at all based on their previous not-even-half-baked attempts at advocacy related work.

    jastheblade
    Full Member

    Talk about out of touch….. Talk about just taking the money… Surely STW can comment?

    thethief
    Full Member

    Absolute classic sportswashing. “ooooo, look how green we are. We sponsor cycling.”

    andybrad
    Full Member

    maybe it was this or loose BC? on the flip side im guessing they will be able to utilise all the BC members as carbon offset so it makes them extra green?

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    I’d be interested to know where all the people on this thread get the fuel for their cars from.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    The multi choice answer really needs
    “No. This reinforces why I am a member of CUK instead”.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Greenwashing!

    I don’t own a car.

    convert
    Full Member

    The multi choice answer really needs
    “No. This reinforces why I am a member of CUK instead”.

    +1

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’d be interested to know where all the people on this thread get the fuel for their cars from.

    Pretty sure mine comes from Grangemouth. Courtesy of Ineos?

    jastheblade
    Full Member

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60295177

    So the BBC report record profits for Shell and BP – in fact its that much they wont disclose the figures, but its ok they support British Cycling so they must be ok.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    I’d be interested to know where all the people on this thread get the fuel for their cars from.

    I really don’t see the relevance…

    A cycling organisation taking money from big oil is still just daft and *hopefully* commercial suicide (once the Shell money runs out).

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    tjagain
    Full Member
    Greenwashing!

    I don’t own a car.

    I agree with TJ, in a recently car-free again sanctimonious way.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I’d be interested to know where all the people on this thread get the fuel for their cars from.

    Asda its consistently the cheapest.

    Im not bothered by this, I dont really see Shell as any better or worse then HSBC. Both parties are only in it for the PR and cash so lets not climb too far up our high horses. There is no such thing as green big business, its all marketing. Im sure HSBC and other banks lend money to a wide range of ecologically unsound businesses so what difference does it really make. It’s not as if cycling is a green sport. All that carbon fibre, all the emissions from travel not to mention the vast number of vehicles that follow any peloton round the country.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    Im sure HSBC and other banks lend money to a wide range of ecologically unsound businesses so what difference does it really make.

    It is possible to make a stand at some point. To say, hold on, we’ve had the dubious HSBC but now you’re going even further with the frankly appalling Shell. Or should we just shrug and allow them to do whatever they want. Sometimes small actions can develop into bigger things. A lot of people cancelling BC memberships might just make them think about what they are doing.

    jameso
    Full Member

    Cycling is a funny old thing – part sport, part mode of travel (be that commute or recreational). It gets blurred by people interested in the former also doing or being passionate about the latter. I guess there is no particular reason why cycling the sport should be any more ethically aware than any other sport whilst cycling the mode of transport has a very positive ethical/sustainable angle to its purpose and messaging. And with this sponsorship deal, British Cycling are confirmed as completely in the sport camp with very little interest in the broader context. Which is fine if that’s what they think they are for.

    Well put. It’s why I’m a Cycling UK member, although I do believe that people who discover bikes through sport are likely to become transport cyclists. I didn’t start out as a transport cyclist either. I was engaged in the first place by the sport side of it.

    finbar
    Free Member

    And with this sponsorship deal, British Cycling are confirmed as completely in the sport camp with very little interest in the broader context. Which is fine if that’s what they think they are for.

    I would disagree that it’s fine. Cycling as a sport needs roads to train on without car drivers putting riders’ lives at risk ‘making progress’, clean air to breathe…

    bjhedley
    Full Member

    If people take a breath for a moment, it might be worth looking at what the deal actually offers BC. If it’s significant investment, opportunities to improve cycling in the UK from an Elite and amateur level along with infrastructure etc, then great. Nobody moaned about having a deal with HSBC with all of their suspect money laundering scandals/involvement in people losing their homes during 2008.

    Like it or not, we live in a capitalist world where not every company has the budget to invest massive chucks of cash in charities. I’m sure if BC signed a deal with Facebook everyone would be squealing ‘data theft etc.’ Unfortunately, most ‘green’ companies won’t have the budget or the balance sheet for big sponsorship deals. I’d rather see millions of Shells profits going to British Cycling than fund managers.

    As for the lube claims – Shell’s tech labs in NL are huge. If they can come up with a synthetic fuel that’ll power a Ferrari F1 car, sure they’ll be able to make a chain lube that’ll save 0.5 watts.

    Regardless of your personal circumstances (FYI – fossil fuels are still needed to build both Tesla’s and wind turbines, and let’s not get started on the mess colbalt and lithium mining makes), fossil fuels are going to be in the energy mix for a while until we find other raw materials and embrace nuclear, is if that’s the case, why is it so unacceptable for the companies to try and do some good? I’d add that Shell/BP etc don’t set the price of gas or oil, that’s traded on the spot markets. Most oil companies are hedged at c. $70 bbl and <100p/therm. The people making the killings are the traders…

    Olly
    Free Member

    Incredible.

    Did no one at BC sense check what that would do to their brand?
    I think that will kill them off, i dont think it will stand.

    A lot of people cancelling BC memberships might just make them think about what they are doing.

    I doubt thats a contract they can wriggle out of after the fact.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Did no one at BC sense check what that would do to their brand?

    And after the Queenie crap, you’d really think they’d be on the look out for own goals!

    I guess the cheque was quite large….

    dhague
    Full Member

    This is going to hit BC sooner than they realise. I have been a race commissaire with them for some years, and at the regional & national level all of BC’s commissaires and accredited marshals are unpaid volunteers (other than basic expenses to cover mileage etc.). There is no way I will be giving up my time to wear oil company branding while officiating at races, and I suspect many others will feel the same. They may have just inadvertently killed grassroots racing in the UK.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Well, they’ve won me round. Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look… at Shell.

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