Is BEAT Cycling Club a sponsorless model?

Edwin Gulickx

BEAT Cycling Club aims to be as transparent as possible. Today we are starting a new blog series called Beyond. Beyond will take you on a journey behind the scenes as we address three subjects:

  • Beyond the finance: the financial model behind BEAT Cycling Club
  • Beyond the structure: the legal structure of BEAT Cycling Club (including the pro team)
  • Beyond the contracts: the contracts with partners, sponsors and riders

In future posts we will address questions like: What is the budget of the club and pro team, and how are they financed? What are our thoughts on the legal structure? What are the dos and don’ts of contracting in cycling?

We have done a lot of thinking on these topics, but we are nowhere near finished. On the #RoadToBEAT we will – together with the pioneers of BEAT Cycling Club – try to find the optimal answers (or to come as close as possible). This blog is meant to give you insight into our journey, our discoveries, our successes, our failures and the decisions we make along the way. You’ll be the first to hear about them.

#RoadToBEAT – Beyond the finance

Let’s start with today’s question: Is BEAT Cycling Club a sponsorless model?

It is our ambition to have one-third of our income coming from membership fees, one-third from other income (e.g., merchandising, events) and one-third from sponsors. So the simple answer to today’s question is “no.”

But let’s dig somewhat deeper to see if it’s even possible to achieve a sponsorless model. A few rough calculations might shed some light. We assume that in any given year the budget for the club and pro team together amounts to €6 million. Let’s also assume we can achieve our goal for other income: one-third, or €2 million. That leaves €4 million to be covered by membership fees in a sponsorless model.

Further, we assume that the membership fees are somewhere between €50 and €200 per year. That means we need between 20,000 and 80,000 members to cover the €4 million. That’s certainly a stretch in the start-up phase (even in the most optimistic scenarios), but in the longer run this could very well be a realistic scenario. 

So, if a sponsorless model could be achieved over the longer run, we only need a good reason to pursue such a model (and some thoughts on the short-term implementation). We don’t see this reason, but we’re curious how you regard this point. Let us know by sharing your thoughts with, and in the coming posts we will dig deeper into this fascinating subject. 

In our next blog post we will address the question: What did the start-up of BEAT Cycling Club cost, and how did we finance it?