WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
It was back in 2016 that several first year U23 South African riders found themselves effectively without teams. Financial backing was becoming increasingly hard to find, the knock-on effect being little growth and opportunity in the club teams.
Enter PROTOUCH™, a new and self-funded team set up to cater for U23 South African road cycling talent. With the vastly experienced Tony Harding at the helm, this self-funded team set out with a singular focus: to enable South African riders to perform. And how this goal has manifested itself.
“We aim to build a WINNING TEAM – around a core of South African riders – and to be the best Continental Team in Africa”.
In its first three years, PROTOUCH™ went from strength to strength, culminating in overall victory at the 2018 SA Road Cycling Series and countless other domestic racing victories. Seven PROTOUCH™ riders were selected for National Team duty that year, and the Team achieved four podium finishes in the toughest of African stage races – the Tour du Rwanda.
Despite this home ground success, it was clear that focussing solely on South African racing was not preparing our talented athletes for international racing. Local events cater primarily for mass-participation and, shorter racing distances. Coupled with the limited spectator value and media coverage, attracting sponsorship and investment in the Team was still proving to be difficult. The unsustainable Federation model, was also impacting on National Team participation, as these too remain as self-funded by selected athletes and/or teams.
BUT, PROTOUCH™ IS NOT JUST A TEAM.
PROTOUCH™ is an Impact Investment Project. Our aim is to revolutionize Professional Cycling for South African riders, by building a sustainable business encompassing commercial components that leverage revenue streams (beyond sponsorships).
Having spearheaded the development of the Support SA Talent Project at the beginning of 2018, we assembled an ecosystem and created a platform that recognises and supports South African talent.Centred around the Africa’s Top Team, a range of professional athlete services [for ProTouch and other riders] have been introduced, we also track and rank over 500 athletes (Junior, U23 and Elite) in the Road Cycling Series – who are recognised annually at the end of each season – and, we have started developing and broadcasting our own content in an attempt to increase revenue streams to help fund our team.
We plan to launch a Sports Affinity Card during 2020 and a series of pro cycling events, to leverage even greater opportunities to assist talented South African athletes achieve their dreams. This will be done in partnership with the soon-to-be launched Phil Liggett Foundation, to #SupportSATalent.
AND, THERE IS MORE…
Our #InvestInTheDream campaign invites investors to help to fund access to international racing opportunities and keep South Africa in the number one cycling nation in Africa position. Investors – passionate about high performance sports such as road cycling – are invited to invest in the further development and management of this platform, that enables South African athletes to perform on the World Stage.
By leveraging the South African National Treasury-approved Section 12J Investment Channel, we provide investors (companies and individuals) the ability to deduct 100% of the investment from their total income in the year that the investment is made. Investors benefit from both the tax deduction and, a return on their full investment.
With only two South African road cyclists on the start list of the 2019 Le Tour de France and South Africa having only just qualified for just three invitations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – men’s and women’s categories – investing in this dream could not have come at a more opportune time, in South African [and African] Cycling.
TO FIND OUT MORE, get in touch with us on +27 83 656 4632 or email@example.com
“We believe, that we can unlock value for Athletes and Teams and, a return for Investors,” – Rebecca Eliot, Founder of the Project.
MEET THE TEAM
ProTouch 2020 is proudly supported by a number of official partners: Presenting Partner – Barak Fund Management & Riparian Advisory; Apparel Partner – ProSport Apparel; Sports Nutrition Partner – Named Sport Superfood; Eyewear & Helmet Partner – Smith Optics; Hotel Partner – AHA Hotels & Lodges; Emergency Services Partner – Helivac; Bicycle Frame Partner – Devel Project; Wheel & Handlebar Partner – Deda Elementi; Saddle Partner – Sella San Marco; Wheel Partner – Mitas Bicycle Wheels; Recovery Partner – Normatec & Recovery Club SA; Web Hosting & Bottle Partner – Domains.co.za; Medical Services Partner – Wanderers Sports Medicine Centre, Constantia Kloof Sports & Exercise Medicine Centre; Dining Partner – Doppio Zero; and Founding Supporting Partner – Pretoria Box Manufacturers and ITEC.