For fmcg brands, sports sponsorship is an highly competitive market. How can a brand gain an edge? One option is by getting in early - marking its territory and building its association and, therefore, its credibility with consumers.

Given cycling’s growing popularity, I’m surprised more brands have not already chosen the humble velo as their vehicle for freewheeling into the consciousness of their target markets. It’s a golden opportunity. Chris Froome - a strong contender to win the Tour de France tomorrow, Olympic and Tour de France hero Sir Bradley Wiggins and record-breaking sprinter Mark Cavendish have made cycling more popular for spectators and participants alike.

And the Tour de France visits England next summer. Could your brand triumphantly roll in on the back of it? In fact, why settle for a ‘backie’ when your brand could be firmly entrenched on every corner of the route?

Leeds hosts next year’s first stage on 5 July, with the 190km-long ride taking in the Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Harrogate. Stage two, covering 200km from York to Sheffield, takes place the following day before the race visits London.

That’s nearly 250 miles of English heritage in two days, taking in Roman-walled York, the Cathedral city of Ripon, a string of market towns as well as picturesque Yorkshire and Peak District. That’s 250 miles in which your brand can turn the race into a festival of entertainment and make it a more positive experience for the crowd. Alongside that, you will find willing potential partners in local councils and tourism bodies such as Welcome to Yorkshire working harder than ever to promote their assets.

For brands wanting their association to be taken seriously, now is the time to start investing in cycling - potentially with a low-key spend to validate your presence for the big event when it comes around next summer. Done with care, it will give you a base to drive awareness and credibility and make your brand the logical choice for people captivated by the Tour in England.

Would your fmcg brand fancy some of that? Of course it would. On yer bike!

David Atkinson is managing partner at Space