• Financial Times report reveals cycling has taken over
• Cycling has enjoyed a 62% rise in popularity in eight years
GOLF & BUSINESS
Golf is no longer the most popular way to network and do business with clients, a report in the Financial Times has revealed.
According to the broadsheet newspaper, business people are swapping their clubs for bikes after a huge surge in cycling’s popularity over the past decade.
"People network in a much freer way on a six-hour bike ride" - Dr Josephine Perry
The article references the number of golfers in the US falling by 20% in the past decade and 29% since 2008 in England. This is a stark contrast to cycling which, according to Sport England, has seen its monthly participation rise 62% in eight years from 232,000 to 377,000.
“People network in a much freer way on a six-hour bike ride than if it’s something that is forced upon you like a drinks reception,” Dr Josephine Perry, a sport psychology consultant who advises sport professionals and business people, told the Financial Times. “It’s much less awkward.”
A huge factor behind cycling’s rise is the success of Great Britain in the discipline at the past three Olympic Games, with a total of 22 gold medals, ten silver medals and six bronze medals won.
And, in 2013, the mammoth $130bn Verizon-Vodafone deal was agreed by both companies’ chief executives while riding exercise bikes in a hotel gym.
“It is great for relationship building,” added Jonathan Harrison, managing director of investment banking at Robert W Baird, who organises an annual London to Somerset ride for colleagues and clients. “It is an incredibly social thing. You natter as you go along.”
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