Yes, finally the women ride – with grit and grace.
This year’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift follows years of campaigning by the women's professional peloton for an equivalent race to the men's Tour de France. We couldn’t be more excited to be the official technology partner of this inaugural and historical event.
The relationship between technology and human performance has existed since the dawn of sports industry itself. Technology has been a critical enabler of athletic conditioning, fan experience and pushing the envelope of human performance ever higher. As the official technology partner to the Tour de France over the last eight years, we’re proud to have enabled more than 40 million fans to virtually engage with the Tour during the depth of the pandemic, driven by the orchestration of IoT, analytics and visualization.
We’re continuing our role in innovating A.S.O.’s ‘race of the future’ with four of their women’s events, including Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Fleche Wallonne Femmes and Liege-Bastogne-Liege Femmes. The sponsorship of Tour de France Femme avec Zwift is aligned to our commitment in advancing a critical sustainability agenda, particularly: Health and Wellbeing, Sustainable Practices, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Athleticism is integral to the human experience and is fundamental to our health and wellbeing. From our childhood, sports forms part of community and school programs –promoting physical activity, teamwork, mental discipline and a healthy competitive spirit. Sports often becomes a hobby for some to continue fostering a healthy lifestyle and thriving community. And for a lucky and talented few, sports becomes a vehicle to an enriched livelihood. That the women’s peloton now have their own Tour de France will energize many more women and the next generation of female cyclists to come.
While the pandemic temporarily disrupted how global fans engage in their favorite sports, we worked with A.S.O. to create an innovative fan experience during the 2020 Tour with a digital ecosystem to deliver a more intimate experience. With this digital ecosystem extending to the women’s race, we’re providing an opportunity for fans to watch, enjoy and immerse themselves in the races from the comfort and carbon-friendlier footprint of home. Digitalization of people, places and machines (bicycles in this case) has opened new doors for how we can engage with each other and experiences in a way that minimizes the need for travel, and maintains the integrity of the environment of sports venues – particularly in the French mountains and areas of extreme beauty the races traverse. Through advanced data analytics and machine learning, NTT will be publishing rider and team profiles on social media and the broadcast, uncovering unique insights into the women’s pro peloton
Meanwhile, gender balance and representation in sports has been a pursuit that came onto a global scene with the first women athletes competing in the Olympics 2 years before the Tour de France started – in the year 1900. This year’s Tour de France Femme avec Zwift is part of the another step in the journey towards gender equity– and aligns with our commitments to gender diversity and equity across our organization.
2022 will go down in history as the year where athletes, fans and the business of sports emerged from the pandemic and celebrate exceptional athletic performance. And for cycling, it’s a breakthrough year for women. At NTT we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring you that experience in ways that only the commitment to well-being, sustainability and gender equity can deliver. We have no doubt you will enjoy the races onsite and/or at home – we’ll bring you up close and personal to each pedal rotated that elevates our collective and human experience. Viva La Tour! Read our case study to find out more.