Through Global Relay’s various sporting, charitable and volunteerism initiatives, we hope to make a true positive impact where we live, work and play.
The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix
In January, 2012, after a four year hiatus, Global Relay proudly announced a $1-million, five-year commitment to become the Title Sponsor and Operator of one of North America’s most legendary bicycle races — reborn as the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.
The stage, starting line, VIP area and Global Relay offices are seen just prior to the start of the 2012 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.
Race day: July 11, 2012
The men's starting line at the 2012 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. Over 150 professional cyclists competed! Photo credit: Greg Descantes
After more than a year of preparations, including one very intense month before the race, the big day finally arrived! We mobilized numerous suppliers and contractors, the City of Vancouver and almost 200 internal and community volunteers to make this event happen. Global Relay’s Vancouver office is located directly adjacent to the start/finish line!
It truly is exhilarating to witness a pack of top cyclists blazing around the circuit at speeds of up to 60km/h. There is an incredible energy to bicycle racing that can only be experienced at a live event — and with the record crowds and perfect weather on our race day, the night was truly electric.
To up the ante, Global Relay provided the largest prize purse of any criterium in North America at a total of $40,000, with $15,000 going to the top male rider and $8,000 to the fastest woman. California-based US rider Ken Hanson of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies took home first prize on the men’s side, with Aussie Loren Rowney of Specialized Lululemon capturing first place among the women.
The attendance, media coverage and athleticism displayed at the 2012 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix surpassed everyone’s expectations - 35,000 spectators, thousands of live streaming viewers, and well wishes, tourists and athletes from around the world.
Global Relay CEO Warren Roy presents the Roger Sumner trophy to the men’s podium finishers. Photo credit: Greg Descantes
About the Race
The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix has a long and rich history in Gastown — Vancouver’s oldest and most characteristic neighbourhood. Past winners of this fast downtown circuit include world cycling stars like Lance Armstrong and Canada’s own Alex Stieda, Alison Sydor, Brian Walton. With a turnout of 35,000 cheering spectators, riders and fans love the Gastown race for its unique cobblestone course, hairpin turns, spectacular upsets and the sheer energy of the huge crowds.
Global Relay as Title Sponsor and Operator
Global Relay staff enjoying a pre-race cycling talk by Canadian cycling great Alex Stieda, who is a two-time Gastown winner and the first North American to ever wear the Tour de France Yellow Jersey.
Putting on a world-class sporting event in front of 35,000 spectators is no small feat. As the Title Sponsor and Operator of this Race, Global Relay was responsible for every aspect — including logistics, operations, marketing, safety, VIPs, publicity, recruitment, and thousands more details! Without a doubt, it was a lot of work and a significant challenge for our company, but the Global Relay staff rallied around the event with energy and pride.
Why did Global Relay choose to get involved in a major sporting event?
The office of Global Relay President & General Counsel, Shannon Rogers, was temporarily used as a video control room on race day.
- Making a community contribution— Global Relay’s business was built from our office in Gastown, Vancouver, and it is still our world headquarters. We found ourselves in the fortunate position of being able to give back to Gastown and the Vancouver community. Outdoor sport and high-octane cycling symbolizes what Vancouver is all about. To sponsor the return of this internationally recognized cycling event is a thrilling honour, as it also helps support local athletes who are able to compete in their own community in front of hometown fans.
- Local branding— With 85% of our revenues coming from financial epicentres abroad, Global Relay is better known in New York City and London than in Vancouver despite our headquarters being in Vancouver. What better way to become known at home than by hosting a major public event!
- Recruitment— Being top of mind in Vancouver will help us continue to recruit the best and brightest for our rapidly growing technology and business teams.
- Fun— What could be more fun than to host the best summer party in Vancouver?! Free admission, 35,000 spectators, live streaming of the Race worldwide and witnessing 150 of the world’s best cyclists racing around our very own neighbourhood!
- Team building— The spirit of teamwork that swept the company leading up to the race and since has been incredible. Global Relay staff all had a role to play, volunteering their time, with many taking critical leadership and planning positions.
Brenda Lau of Global Relay prepares the walkie-talkies for Global Relay volunteers to use on race day. Photo credit: Skot Nelson
Global Relay staff members Michael Sample and Mateo Hernandez pose on the race course. Photo credit: Skot Nelson
Racing toward the future
With such a successful first race behind us, everyone at Global Relay is looking forward to being a part of this legendary event again next year and beyond.