The top cyclist in the world's mountain bike ranking, the athlete closed an agreement with Santander before leaving for the Tokyo Olympics
The bank offers financing for bikes and parts with no upper limit, life and accident insurance for cyclists and assistance stations along training routes
Strategy for the cycling segment includes sponsorship of the broadcasts of the main road and trail competitions, such as the Tour de France, the Giro D'Italia and the MTB Festival
São Paulo, 24 May 2021.
Brazil is announcing today, 24th May, its strategy to promote cycling. The spokesperson is Henrique Avancini, the top cyclist in the world's mountain bike ranking and one of the main contenders for the title at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Avancini is leaving for Japan at the end of the month, where he will prepare for the Olympic Games to be held from 23 July.
The bank is thus showing its strong commitment to competitive cycling, with initiatives such as its sponsorship of TV broadcasts of Brazilian and international competitions and its financial solutions for cyclists. Its new offerings include a credit facility solely to buy bikes and parts, as well as a paradigm shift in the insurance market: from now on, Santander's life and personal accident insurance policies cover professional and amateur cyclists. And home insurance policies now also apply to theft and aggravated theft of bicycles.
The brand will be present during the ESPN broadcast of the road cycling Grand Tours. These include the major cycling races in the world, such as the Tour de France and the Giro D’Italia. On Bandsports, the bank will show ads during the broadcasts of the MTB Festival, Brazil's most important mountain bike competition.
"Bikes are or have been in the life of almost all of us at some point. Recently, Brazilians have shown an increased interest in using them for transport, leisure and sports", says Patricia Audi, vice chair of Communication, Marketing, Institutional Relations and Sustainability at Santander Brazil. "This was made clear to us after we sponsored the revitalisation of the cycle path at Marginal do Rio Pinheiros, used by more than 70,000 cyclists every month."
For Henrique Avancini, the growing interest in cycling shown by Brazilians makes this the right time for a partnership with Santander. "This boom has not yet seen increased structure, support and visibility for those who make a living from this sport, or those who wish to train harder. When a bank offers services such as accident insurance and loans to buy competitive bikes, I think we can take cycling to the next level", adds the athlete.
According to the Brazilian bicycle industry association (Aliança Bike), bike sales went up by 50% in 2020 vs 2019. The mountain bike market, where Henrique Avancini is a star, accounts for 85% of the sales in the country. The positive effects on health, health safety and the possibility of doing exercise outside are some of the reasons behind the industry's growth during this period.
"Cycling is a sport chosen by millions of Brazilians from all regions of the country, from all ages and in city and country areas. By sponsoring Avancini and TV broadcasts, we wish to extend the sport's impact and popularity in Brazil and reach that public directly, offering products and services that really meet the needs of cycling enthusiasts", says Igor Puga, head of Marketing and Branding at Santander Brazil.
From now on, the bank's life insurance covers accidents occurred while cycling. Also, home insurance policies now also apply to theft and aggravated theft of bicycles at the homes of Santander's customers.
And to make it easier for beginners to buy their bikes and existing users to revamp theirs, Santander has extended CDC Bike, a differentiated product offering 100% financing of bikes and parts from R$2,500 – with no upper limit, so as to include competitive models – with 1.69% interest per month and repayment in up to 48 instalments.
"Competitive cyclists usually have very valuable bikes and take risks by cycling on trails and roads, but there were no tailored products to ensure the safety and peace of mind of amateurs and professionals athletes. Our new insurance policies and credit lines will fill this gap and open up new possibilities for cyclists", stated Marcelo Labuto, head of Natural Persons at Santander Brazil.
Pinheiros cycle path
Santander is also sponsoring the Parque Linear Bruno Covas, where residents will be able to enjoy a new cycle path on the western bank of the Pinheiros river, in São Paulo. The bank has invested in the region since 2020 when it supported the revitalisation of cycle path's eastern side. The stretch was reopened in August 2020 by São Paulo's local government after work was completed on its asphalt, vegetation and safety. In December, the bank opened Parada Santander, an assistance and convenience station for about 70,000 cyclists who take this route every month.
Popular among the path's users, Parada Santander, next to Estação Vila Olímpia, offers a space for resting, bike repairs and mobile phone charging. This model will be replicated across the country, with new formats and services. At the station sponsored by the bank, visitors have free service with basic guidance, as well as bike repairs and hygienisation, mobile phone chargers and water mist sprays for refreshing. The space also includes a desk with services for cyclists, such as Light FIT, a daily free service with guidance about how to use and ride a bike, basic repairs and hygienisation.
In addition to extending Parada Santander, 40 Santander-branded outdoor gyms will be adapted for cyclists in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The sites will be equipped with bike parking, tyre calibration, setup support and quick fix tools.
To connect competitive cycling, e-sports and technology, Santander will offer an exclusive benefit for its customers with the Strava app: free access is extended from one to two months starting today. Strava is a GPS-based physical activity monitoring app with social media integration on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
A leading app among exercise enthusiasts, Strava is widely used by millions of cyclist all over the world, who connect in a network. The app allows users to challenge each other for pre-set routes. The partnership with the bank enables athletes themselves to issue challenges on the platform: "Avancini 102km, by Santander" will ask people anywhere in the world to ride the same distance that earned Avancini the title of world champion at the Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in 2018, in Auronzo di Cadore, Italy.
Santander has also announced its sponsorship of the TV broadcasts of the four cycling Grand Tours: Giro D’Italia (08/05 to 30/05), Tour de Suisse (06/06 to 13/06), Tour de France (26/06 to 18/07) and Vuelta a España (14/08 to 05/09), on ESPN.
Sponsored by Santander, Bandsports will show the traditional MTB Festival, a Brazilian mountain bike event to be held in Mariporã (SP) from 5 to 7 November. The MTB Festival should see over 4,500 athletes competing for three Brazilian titles, divided into the categories XCM Elite Pró Brasileiro, XCM Sport, DH Brasileiro and XCO/UCI Brasileiro.
The bank already sponsors the Brazil Ride races, with ten events in 2021: Brasil Ride Espinhaço, Maratona do Cipó, Road Brasil Ride, Festival Brasil Ride Botucatu, Taça Brasil XCO Brasil Ride, Maratona Bike Club Brasil Ride, Warm Up Brasil Ride Linhares, Brasil Ride Bahia, Maratona do Descobrimento and Gravel Race.
About Henrique Avancini
Henrique Avancini, 32, is leaving for the Olympic Games as the no. 1 cyclist in the world's mountain bike ranking. He has had a career full of successes: he has won national titles in all existing categories, set the main records in Brazilian cycling and won the MTB XCM world championship in 2018, in Italy. In October 2020, he won the XCO Mountain Bike World Cup in the Czech Republic, becoming the no. 1 racer in the category.
His dad owned a bike repair shop and built Henrique his first bike from scrap parts. After winning in all Brazilian MTB categories, Avancini travelled to Europe and became of the leading active mountain bike cyclists.
About Santander Brazil
Santander Brazil has been in operation since 1982 and, after mergers and acquisitions of over 70 banks, has created competitive wholesale and retail structures. It is part of Santander Group, the largest bank in the eurozone in terms of market value, with a significant presence in ten key countries in Europe and America. The only international financial institution with a strong presence in Brazil, Santander has more than 44,800 employees, over 3,500 branches and bank customer desks (PABs), approximately 36,500 self-service terminals, as well as regional offices to serve more than 28.4 million active customers. Considered the most sustainable bank of the year by the Guia Exame – Melhores do ESG in 2021, Santander Brazil continues to step up its efforts to promote inclusive and environmentally responsible businesses.