Latest Communication – November 2012 - Women’s Race Training sessions
Please see al the details on this poster of some new events that FBWC are helping to promote
Latest Communication – 13 October 2012
Fan Backed Women’s Team is a lot bigger than first thought. The numbers are ever increasing, and with every person, the potential of the group gets bigger. As more and more people look for a positive aspect of cycling to follow, the support only gets stronger.
It has also clear that having a monetary target of £50,000 is perhaps the only limiting factor of this group, so it is my proposal that we remove the initial target and instead focus all of our efforts on growing this group to new levels and using the group to advance the sport. Why not promote, challenge, and drive forward the sport and seek many many more people than just 500. Let’s target 2,000, or 3,000 people; the potential at that point in time is beyond anything that could be currently recognised in women’s cycling.
I also propose this becomes Fan backed Womens Cycling (Replacing the Team tag). It is becoming, and always has been, far bigger than just my team. My team plays a small role in the sport, and it has always been our intention to ensure we do all we can to promote and grow the sport in general. My small article on cyclismas.com has actually led to a bigger voice for womens cycling and all of you that have signed up are clearly founding member of something that has been long overdue in the sport. I feel that by putting this group together we can help snowball the growth of the sport immediately.
Obviously, I confirm we as a team will remain 100% committed to our 5 initial proposals for the sport, and we should work throughout 2013 to achieve those goals. All of them will be achieved, and we need your help with that, more than ever. You presence at races, your promotion via social media, or your skills or moral support could be far more valuable that a £100 contribution in the long run.
On the progress of the 5 points in question I can confirm the current situation on 3 items:
Website – I have registered www.womenscyclingUK.com – I have two serious contributors/editors in place who are keen to make this exactly what we need going forward. More people will be added/needed to this and it’s early days still but progress is being made.
Race Organisers Help – I have approached several organisers, and intend to contact many more. I’m trying to identify areas of help needed and also understand more of the challenges they face. I have also made an offer to one race organiser to co-promote the event with him. I’d love to see the women’s teams in the UK each take on one race to assist with the promotion. It might help all of us on the team side understand how hard it is to run a race and also allow organisers to get a clearer understand of team needs at events.
Gala Event – I’ve had confirmation from one other team in the UK that they are keen to launch their team along with us at a Womens Cycling Gala Night in the UK. Two teams launching together in a celebration of the sport early in the year could be a great start. We are now working to put together the details.
So in conclusion, this is happening. It is happening now. It involves you, and it doesn’t cost anything.
I wrote an article for www.cyclismas.com in which I discuss the role of fans in Womens racing. Part of my article related to the potential of a ‘Fan Backed Team’ and I listed some simple points that I feel would ensure that IF this happens, it would be done in an ultimately successful way. The response to this online has been overwhelming to be honest and it seems that this is now a genuine possibility for 2013.
To clarify the scenario, I would like to propose the following:
1. #fanbackedwomensteam would provide fan backed funding for the ‘Matrix Fitness – Prendas’ team and for the womens cycling community in the UK in general. Members of the community would not have voting rights or any control over the team itself. Funding – Early suggestions from data gathering are that 50% of all funds raised could be spent on developing womens cycling in the UK in general, and the remaining 50% going to the team (Matrix Fitness – Prendas).
2. It would not be the primary source of funding for the racing team. The team has its own commercial sponsors and would continue to develop commercial relationships to expand its operations as it seeks to establish itself as the UK’s primary racing academy for women (Outside of the national federation) in the coming years
3. It will be run by committee. An initial 5 member committee would be established – members to be invited by Matrix Fitness – Prendas management to participate. It has also been suggested in data gathered that a sub committee is formed of 5 current riders or ex-professionals to provide further input and balance
4. Salaries to riders and staff would not be dependent on #fanbackedwomensteam funding
5. Part of the funding would be provided to the team. Part would be used for promotion (Video, Race Photography, Reports, Web content, Events, Launches, Participation, Events promotion etc). Decisions about funding allocation would be the sole responsibility of Matrix Fitness – Prendas management with advice and input from the #fanbackedwomensteam committee
The return for #fanbackedwomensteam partners; Initially, the return will be the opportunity to be a part of something new and exciting that has the potential to change the face of women’s cycling. We would be looking to build a primary community of 500 people in the first instance, with an initial funding target of £50,000. We believe that there would be ongoing opportunities to reward these partners with benefits (like VIP events) once our community is established.
IF this happened, we feel this community has the potential to drive women’s racing, the team, and events forward by mobilising a committed group of like minded individuals into one powerful group.
To kick-start the project it has been suggested we seek pledges of £100, however we would like to have this project run on several levels:
1 – A pledge £100 or more to support #fanbackedwomensteam (with full community membership)
2 – A pledge of a different amount to support #fanbackedwomensteam (with junior community membership)
3 – Offer help in other ways (For example photography, events etc) and help create a community
4 – Offer support in terms of product support
It’s early days, but support has been huge and largely pushed by Dave Smith (@ffflow) and we thank him for this. He will be part of the committee going forward. If you are interested, please contact Stefan@onthedrops.com
We intend for further details to be published in the week beginning 24th September 2012 and this is very much a data gathering period to see if the backing and support for such a project is there.