On a world-wide scale – a Dutch entrepreneur is seeking 40,000 members to become co-owners and managers of a new Pro Cycling Team ready for 2010.
While the concept claims to be new, there have been other teams (even from Australia) which generated income in a similar fashion – members of the public can buy a share. Different from these is the idea that the 40,000 members have a 51% share (the rest is sponsor income) and members have managing right for major decisions including which cyclists are approached and hired to ride for the team. Via a democratic election on the website, the members also vote on selection and hiring of managers, trainers, sports directors, race calender and team kit.
Imagine being able sign up Cadel Evans and pick the perfect support team, or being able to tell Carlos Sastre to ride a bit faster. The potential is there though how much will it cost? Initially, until the 40,000 strong membership is complete, registration is free. Once membership is filled the costs is 55 Euro per year (roughly Aussie $100) and together with the 49% sponsorship income the budget is 4 million Euros per year – comparable to other pro teams like Barloworld or Skil-Shimano.
While each share is a minute percentage of the total, the Dutch entrepreneur Marc Frencken who initiative the CrowdRiders concept promises that “each member’s name will be depicted on the official team jersey and team bus, to visually showcase their ownership.”
It is difficult to imagine how 40,000 names will fit on the jersey. The answer is on the website and is very simple, “Basically it means that everyone’s name will be printed fairly small.” Regardless of whether you will actually be able to read your name, 40,000 passionate cyclists can follow the ups and downs of their team knowing that if one rider is not performing, you can kick him out!
Planned is the 2010 Tour de France, an opportunity for members to really be a part, a small part… though a fun part.
Further information and registration at