Specialized-lululemon, currently the fifth-ranked women’s team in the world, announced last week that it will seek additional funding by starting a club membership program for 2015.
Velocio Sports — the team’s management company — is seeking to expand its fan base and diversify its funding, given that the team’s contracts with Specialized and lululemon are scheduled to end in December.
“We’re switching tactics in our search for team sponsorship and funding,” said team owner Kristy Scrymgeour. “We want to get the cycling community involved in an attempt to build a bridge between the ever-increasing number of recreational cyclists and pro cycling as a sport. We have corporate interest for part of our budget and we’ve decided to add to that by trying something a little different.”
The team launched a crowdfunding campaign last Friday that it is calling Project X.
“It’s a way for us to invite people to be a part of the team and vote for women’s cycling at the same time,” Scrymgeour said. “It starts with supporting our team, but if we can create a buzz around this campaign, it will reach the eyes of potential sponsors for both the team and other aspects of our sport.
“Women’s cycling needs two things: exposure and a growing the fan base. This weekend’s La Course by Le Tour de France is a great opportunity to get that exposure and we need more and more of that. By growing our women’s cycling community and building a bigger fan base, we increase the demand for more exposure.”
Velocio Sports has been an elite women’s team since 2005, first as T-Mobile, then Highroad/HTC-Highroad, and finally as Specialized-lululemon. The team is home to 10 Olympians, and it currently holds the world championship team time trial title.