Increased spectators, media reach & sponsors: Maryland Cycling Classic confirms return in September 2024 | Sports Destination Management

Increased spectators, media reach & sponsors: Maryland Cycling Classic confirms return in September 2024

Mar 26, 2024

The Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare, will return for its third year on September 1, 2024. Recognized as America’s top-ranked road cycling race and highest-ranked UCI event, the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic had an estimated 80,000 spectators and almost 800,000 viewers of the race livestream.

The third edition will again include four-days of family-friendly activities centred on health and wellness over the 2024 Labor Day weekend.

“We’re thrilled with the results of the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic, especially the increased level of spectator and community engagement,” said Terry Hasseltine, President of the Sport & Entertainment Corporation of Maryland, the event’s owner.

“Every major indicator showed an increase, marking an important year for growth in year two. This sets us up for a great event in 2024, and we look forward to building on this year’s success.”

The 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic, held on September 3rd, reported media impressions up 200% year on year, while the livestream viewership increased from over 100,000 in 2022 to nearly 800,000 in 2023.

In 2023, the second edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic also elevated its broadcast with a helicopter film crew capturing all the action and broadcasting out to viewers in 76 countries. The regional over the air broadcast was bolstered through a partnership with Maryland Public Television, which aired a record six hours of live broadcast. This included five hours of the race and 30-minute preview and post-race shows.

Sponsor support was bolstered by 36 total sponsors up from 21 in 2022, highlighted by partnerships with UnitedHealthcare, Human Powered Health, 4 Cornerstones Foundation, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kelly Benefits, RxBenefits, Visit Baltimore, and the state of Maryland.

“We had a strong roster of public and private partners for the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic” said John Kelly, the event’s chairman. “Fantastic partners from outside Maryland invested in the event alongside several institutional partners with headquarters in Baltimore or Maryland. With support from the state of Maryland, City of Baltimore, and Baltimore County, we were able to elevate the entire weekend with impact at both the community and experiential level while sending a postcard of our state and its attractions to the world.”

In 2023, the field of cyclists continued to be strong with six World Tour and Tour de France squads at the start line. The elite field of more than 110 cyclists included America’s top-ranked male rider Neilson Powless, who placed second in the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic.

The event also attracted several Tour de France stars, including Simon Yates, Patrick Lafay, and Hugo Houle. Race winner Mattias Skjelmose, one of the sport’s rising stars and 2023 winner of the prestigious Tour de Suisse, broke away to cross the finish line first on a sweltering day that hit temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic offered fans four days of free, family-friendly community events over Labor Day weekend. The weekend kicked off with school visits in Baltimore and Baltimore County, including a bike giveaway to local students, compliments of presenting sponsor UnitedHealthcare, and helmets from Specialized. A school program featuring bike and helmet safety curriculum was executed in 12 schools as part of the educational outreach of the event.

Sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and USA Cycling, the Maryland Cycling Classic is managed by Medalist Sports of Peachtree City, GA, and marketed and publicized by KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs, CO.

The event is a production of the Sport & Entertainment Corporation of Maryland, led by Terry Hasseltine and Bob Sicard. The event chair is John Kelly, one of the principals at Maryland-based Kelly Benefits.

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