Online cycling platform, Zwift, has announced a multi-year sponsorship with L39ION of Los Angeles which will run through to the end of 2022.
Zwift and L39ION (pronounced Legion) of Los Angeles are both based in LA but have much more in common than that. L39ION of Los Angeles, a team out of necessity by Justin Williams when neither he nor his brother Cory could get a fair paying job in cycling, work to push the boundaries of what is possible in cycling. They do not have a men’s team or a women’s team but a team, where riders ride for each other.
Earlier this year, they announced the signing of two female riders, Skylar Schneider and Kendall Ryan, to their team who will be competing in crit races up and down America. 2021 will also be a big year for L39ION as they race as a Continental team for the first time.
“I’m stoked to have the support of Zwift.” says Justin Williams, Team Manager and founder of L39ION. “Like L39ION, Zwift isn’t afraid to challenge the norm. We’ve seen them do great things to promote women’s cycling – offering complete gender parity for all competition. I’m excited that they share the same ambition to promote increased diversity as well. Thanks to Zwift and the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, Cory was able to represent the USA for the very first time – that’s big! Zwift will give us a platform to take our mission to a global audience and we’re excited to work together spreading the L39ION mission to the world, and for us to help Zwift deliver on their goals on diversity and inclusion.”
Zwift have been doing a lot to change the way in which it works as a platform, they’ve been changing the way things work inside their company, as well, with Diversity and Inclusivity meetings and training to broaden their workforce and become more accepting and inclusive as a business.
“L39ION is just a fantastic force of energy that aligns so well with our brand, I couldn’t be happier to partner with the team”, add Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “This is far more than a sponsorship deal, we have big plans to collaborate and deliver increased diversity and inclusion within cycling. Justin is one of the most influential figures in the sport and we have the platform to help him deliver his message to a global audience.”
There were given hints of this announcement over the American holiday, Thanksgiving as Justin Williams led a ride with Zwift founder Eric Min, while Cory Williams raced for Team USA for the first time, ever in the recent eSports World Championships hosted by Zwift.
Previously, in an interview with the BBC Justin Williams had said “We let it be known from the gun that this is more than a cycling team. You hear growing up the ‘more than an athlete’ thing from LeBron James – that’s what I envisioned when I thought about making it as an athlete. About being in a position to make other people’s lives better and to influence someone’s life in a positive way.”
Justin and the whole L39ION of Los Angeles team, who are sponsored by British clothing manufactures Rapha, have been working flat out in 2020 to do just that, influence peoples lives in a positive way. With Zwift on board with the team 2021 looks as if there will be no stopping the momentum the team is building.
To celebrate the partnership, Zwift and L39ION will be hosting two social rides on December 22nd. For more details, and to sign up, head to https://www.zwift.com/events/tag/l39ion