The future of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, North America’s longest-running women’s team, is uncertain after the co-title sponsor Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed on Friday.
Following a rush to raise money to fill a loss from the sale of assets impacted by higher interest rates, the Californian bank was shut down by US regulators in what commentators are saying is the largest banking failure since 2008. SVB was the 16th largest bank in the United States.
The company, which was founded in 1983, has invested in cycling for the past 17 seasons, and stepped up as co-title sponsor of the TIBCO team in 2015. At the start of the 2022 season, EF Education joined both partners as the American team moved up to the Women’s WorldTour.
Among their roster they count arguably the most exciting rider in the women’s peloton, Britain’s Zoe Bäckstedt, as well as long-time stalwarts Alison Jackson and Lauren Stephens.
It is not immediately known the impact of SVB’s collapse on the team, but typically title sponsorship provides between 60 and 70% of a team’s annual revenue. With EF Education and TIBCO also on board, it is likely that the team will be able to continue for the foreseeable future without significant problems.
At the time of publication, the team had not responded to Cycling Weekly’s request for a statement.
Nevertheless, the shutting down of SVB will be a blow to both the team and the wider sport, given the bank’s near-two decade commitment to cycling, and the financial resources that they were able to provide.
The team was founded by former Canadian racer Linda Jackson in 2007. In that time the team has acted as one of the principal locations for emerging North American talent, and its move up to WorldTour level last season was seen as a notable step in its story.
By signing Bäckstedt, a junior world road race, time trial, cyclocross and track champion, the team were hoping it would advance them to the next level as they seek to compete regularly with the best teams in the women’s peloton.