In 2002, two guys â€” one a bike shop owner, the other an entrepreneur â€” set out to determine if there was a viable business in professional cycling.
Could it be run like a business? Could they get investors to see value beyond real estate on a jersey? They believed they could, and so Thierry Attias (bike shop owner) agreed to manage sponsorships while his friend Greg Raifman (entrepreneur) took over athlete management. All they needed were athletes and sponsors. Easy, right?
After presentations and promises to many potential partners, Thierry and Greg had their first title sponsor in Moosehead Beer. And this was great. Until a company with much greater financial potential expressed interest: HealthNet. In what turned out to be a humorous intersection of opportunities for Momentum, the suggestion of the team name Moosehead-HealthNet was met with much friendly laughter from all. Since the beer and the health insurance industries are not so complementary, this presented a challenge to Greg and Thierry in that they had to choose one sponsor or the other. HealthNet agreed to cover both sponsorships and in the fall of 2002 Momentum Sports Group had itâ€™s first professional cycling team.
Thierry and Greg did almost everything themselves in that first year, including handing up food from the team car and washing water bottles after the races were over. 80-hour week followed 80-hour week. But in all this work came victory after victory. One of their first stars, Gord Fraser, won 14 races that inaugural season. Keeping the budget lean by only paying a salary to the top two riders and only covering expenses for the rest of the team, Momentum established a strong foundation. Thanks to all the winning, and the prize money that comes with it, riders stayed happy and eager, sponsors realized the value and Momentum grew quickly. Year two saw a five-fold increase to the budget, which meant proper staff, new team vehicles and the finances to support an elite, carefully chosen squad of riders.
From the beginning, Momentum has focused on building a positive and professional work environment for the staff and the team of riders. The result of this focus is the creation of value for sponsors, who then see the team as a complete asset for building their businesses. The riders are not just moving billboards. Momentum combines a deep passion for the sport of cycling with sound business principles and practices.
Today Momentum is a 70-person marketing organization built around world-recognized, winning cycling teams that can be deployed in multiple ways on its clientsâ€™ behalf.
Momentum operates professional continental menâ€™s, world tour women's, and professional cyclocross programs.Â We currently have 19 partners and over 35 athletes, which will include four Olympians this year.
President & Co-Founder
VP, Client Services
High Performance Director
Head Sporting Director