Over a hundred years ago, the miners in southern Belgium and northern France dragged their bikes up from the coal mines and raced in the hope that the prize money could buy them a future without soot and dust in their lungs. Cycling, as we know it today, was born. Fast forward to 2014 and you’ll see recreational athletes riding around on equipment at prices of what the old workers’ houses cost.
But recently, the noble sport has been joined by the super-rich – wealthy men and women who have discovered the passion that lies in the battle between rider and terrain. And they are welcome. The road is where we meet on equal terms with shared passion.
Saxo Bank is an investment bank for these prosperous cyclists. One of the bank’s branches is located in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And during the RCS organized stage race, Dubai Tour, Saxo Bank invited bike enthusiasts from the area to follow the race and the riders up close. Faiyaz Chand, Marketing Manager of the branch in the Arabian financial paradise, says.
– We organized an event over several days, where cycling enthusiasts from Dubai and the region could enjoy the race from front-row by joining the team in the service cars and meeting the riders to hear about the race tactics. The interest was enormous. And although, Dubai doesn’t have a cycling culture, we were surprised to see that so many people – and potential customers – immediately saw the beauty of cycling, states Faiyaz Chand.
In the United Arab Emirates – a country of 5,4 million inhabitants – only 2,000 people ride their bikes. But Saxo Bank is one of the only banks in the world that are crazy about cycling, and they have a mission. To take care of their existing customers and create new ones by giving them great experiences – through cycling.
– For us, it’s about creating unique experiences for our customers. One of our clients brought his 12-year-old son along on a training trip with the Tinkoff Saxo riders. The young man, who certainly wasn’t born on a bike, drove his heart out and sat on the wheels of the pros. Firstly, this means that we create a real friendship with our customers. And secondly, we feel that we can actually help to promote the sport in Dubai and the rest of the region, says Faiyaz Chand.
There are significant similarities between Saxo Bank’s financial work and the work of Tinkoff – Saxo. Tristan Hoffman, ex- rider and current Sports Director of the team, led the riders at Dubai Tour and got a glimpse of Saxo Bank’s work.
– Just like our team prepares thoroughly during the season to perform in the crucial moments and races, Saxo Bank also works thoroughly in their preparations and analysis towards an investment, says Hoffman.
The total number of cyclists is increasing in Dubai thanks to events such as the Dubai Tour. Faiyaz Chand has noticed how the race has grown bigger over the years, and he says that Saxo Bank will continue to support cycling in the region.