How rich is Amazon?
Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world. Two numbers indicate the size of the American multinational company. First: 514 billion. This was Amazon’s annual sales volume in 2022. It is roughly equivalent to the gross national product of the whole of Belgium.
Number two: 2. In the list of the largest companies in the world, Amazon ranks second (not taking into account state-owned companies in China and Saudi Arabia). Only supermarket chain Walmart, also from the US, has larger sales.
For comparison: Visma has an annual turnover of €2.2 billion, while Jumbo has a turnover of €659 million. Until now, Ineos has been the biggest player in cycling. The chemical company’s turnover is “only” 65 billion.
Amazon generates 70 percent of its sales in North America. It is looking to increase its volume, with Europe an important market for sales.
What is Amazon looking for in cycling?
Football is a global sport. Although popular in Belgium, the race is much smaller internationally. “But this sector is growing very quickly,” says Dutch sports marketer Frank van den Wall Beek. “It’s also an increasingly popular sport in America.”
He sees an important advantage for cycling sponsors compared to men’s football: “You pay 60 or 70 million euros a year to be a Manchester United shirt sponsor, but that team is still simply Manchester United. In cycling, you can have a team that has just won all three Grand Tours bearing your name.” For 15 or 20 million euros. And that’s for a sport where the Grand Tours are broadcast live all over the world. The impact of your sponsorship is proportionately greater, in relative terms.
It’s no coincidence that Jumbo Visma tough guy Richard Blogg was photographed this week with Apple CEO Steve Cook, the sports marketer says. “He’s talking with Apple and probably a lot of other brands. American business is really open to opportunities in cycling.
European soccer clubs have been sold to American investors in recent years. Cycling follows this trend. The motives are similar. Americans see an interesting sports product that is not being financially exploited. A company like Amazon, where the media arm is becoming increasingly important, sees additional benefits. Van den Wall Bake: “Amazon is very interested in content, images and everything that comes with it. In addition, they absolutely want to conquer Europe. Amazon needs exposure here, brand awareness. With a cycling sponsorship they can score twice. Increase their brand awareness, And at the same time creating content.
How did Amazon end up in Jumbo-Visma?
Amazon and Jumbo-Visma are no strangers. The Americans actually filmed the documentary “All-in Team”, where the camera crew was flying over the wall on the team bus and during tactical discussions. The score premiered in the spring on the streaming platform Amazon Prime Video.
“The relationship between Amazon and Jumbo-Visma is not far-fetched,” says sports marketer Van den Wall Beek. “They have already filmed a documentary about the cycling team and are working on a sequel. It only makes sense that good connections and relationships would result from that.”
Does Sepp Koss’ Vuelta win have anything to do with Amazon?
Sports marketer Van den Wall Beek said: “I have no concrete proof of what I am going to say now, but I am almost certain that Sepp Kos won the Vuelta because of the connections that existed at that time between Amazon and Jumbo-Visma.”
“Kos is worthy of it – a nice racer, a lovely boy – but he doesn’t have the qualities of Roglic or Vengegard. However, he is capable of winning the Vuelta. At the time, nothing was known about the talks with Amazon, but already there were some pieces of “The puzzle is in place for me. Jumbo will disappear from cycling, and the team has strongly pushed Kos forward. I was already thinking in the direction of an American sponsor.”
“The team let it win to attract more attention from the US market. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kos becomes more popular if Amazon gets involved.”
What connection does Amazon have to other sports?
When you say Amazon, you don’t immediately think of sports. The company is primarily viewed by the general public as a package delivery and technology company.
But the company has been actively involved in the media landscape in recent years. Amazon has launched Amazon Prime, a competitor to Netflix. In 2017, it bought sports rights for the first time – online portions of images for an NFL contest. Amazon has also focused systematically on European sports. From the Brazilian Football Cup and French League matches to Roland Garros. Amazon partly owns the Champions League rights in Germany and Italy.
The company also recently signed a major sponsorship agreement with UEFA. Amazon will be the main sponsor of women’s football until 2025. In collaboration with the Belgian Football Association, it also produced a mini-series about Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Axel Witsel.
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