espnW is cruising into the women’s professional cycling world. On Tuesday, Colavita – a family owned Italian olive oil company – announced the formation of the Colavita/espnW women’s cycling team. The team will race in seven National Racing Calendar (NRC) events in the United States including the upcoming SRAM Tour of the Gila on May 2 in Silver City, NM.
“Working closely with Colavita, a company committed to supporting female athletes in such a tangible way, is important to espnW,” said Laura Gentile, vice president of espnW. “It’s a great opportunity to support the development of women’s cycling while expanding espnW’s reach in a creative way.”
In addition to sponsoring content on espnW to highlight the sport of women’s cycling, Colavita will launch a co-branded consumer sweepstakes to target female consumers in grocery stores and supermarkets across the country. espnW branding will appear in story on 100,000 olive oil bottles between now and July. The grand prize winner will travel to Italy on an all-expense paid trip for two to enjoy the Italy Cycling Tour with the Colavita/espnW team of cyclists.
Colavita has already assembled a strong team of cyclists from the U.S., Canada and St. Kitts & Nevis including Olympian Iona Wynter Parks and six-time U.S. national criterium champion Tina Pic.
Kathryn Bertine, a Colavita/espnW cyclist and a contributor at espnW, took a few minutes to tell us more about the new team.
How did this come together and how is the team shaping up?
In previous years, Colavita represented the No. 1 women’s cycling team but they were looking for a new sponsor after last season. Given espnW’s support of female athletes, the opportunity made a lot of sense for everyone involved. We’ve put together a really strong group of cyclists with diverse strengths and we’re ready for our slate of races. Colavita cyclists have always had a terrific reputation on and off the bike.
What’s unique and important about this espnW and Colavita combination?
With our espnW and Colavita branded jerseys, we can show the world how committed these two companies are to the sport of women’s cycling. Colavita has a long-standing dedication to the sport. They have supported its development for close to a decade in substantial ways. And, it gives espnW an opportunity to connect directly with female athletes while continuing to raise awareness especially as we prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
How has the sport grown and what do you hope to accomplish?
Women’s cycling has made great strides in the past 100 years. We’re up against a number of hurdles, but in the number opportunities to race, the length of races and the media coverage given to the sport, we’ve made great progress. We hope – through the branded content on espnW and the consumer sweepstakes – to keep reaching new fans and building more exposure for this sport.
You can follow the Colavita/espnW team and learn more about women’s cycling at espnW.com.