Creating the official programme for a landmark sporting event

UCI 2023 Cycling World Championships Programme Cover
Putting together the souvenir programme for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships was as exciting, fast-paced, and challenging as the event itself. We produced 172 pages of must-read copy and bold design in less than eight weeks. That surely deserves a place on the publishing podium.

A medal-worthy programme

The first ever UCI Cycling World Championships is taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland in August 2023. A true world-first, the epic event brings together the greatest riders from across the globe to compete at the highest level, make history, and show the world the power of the bike.

To celebrate the inaugural edition of this landmark sporting event – which will subsequently take place every four years – White Light Media was tasked with creating a high-quality collectible programme to be sold to cycling fans the world over.

Working alongside International Media Sales and the Championships’ in-house event marketing team to create the publication, our role was to ensure the superior quality of the print product by creating engaging editorial and striking design. The magazine had to wow the reader, while adhering to the existing brand guidelines, and satisfying the various requests of both stakeholders and advertisers.

That may sound like a daunting task, however it was the tight timeline which was the biggest challenge. We had less than eight weeks between the first planning meeting and the date this 172-page tome had to go to print.

UCI Cycling World Championships programme layout

The power of words

Our editorial team set about securing interviews with the biggest names in cycling, then quickly establishing enough rapport with them to tease out emotive stories of their personal challenges and rise to the podium. We put together indispensable guides to all 13 events from BMX Flatland to Indoor Paracycling; we shone a spotlight on trailblazing riders, passionate volunteers, and budding young cyclists just starting out in the saddle; we put together a comprehensive guide to cycling all across Scotland; and within every story, we reaffirmed the overarching brand messaging of legacy, community, and accessibility.

Dynamic design that ticks all the boxes

Translating all of this quality copy into bold visuals was a task our design team relished, producing sophisticated, striking layouts which incorporated the brand’s own vibrant colours and energetic assets, while keeping things clean, modern and easy-to-digest for the reader.

Alongside the editorial content, the design team also oversaw the production of all adverts, liaising with International Media Sales and the Cycling World Champs team to ensure every ad met the brief and strict sponsor guidelines from the UCI. We then painstakingly produced a flatplan, which fulfilled every placement request from advertisers, without disrupting the flow of feature content, in order to ensure a seamless reading experience.

Project management to lift the pressure

Creating a 172-page programme is a big task for any marketing and comms team, but when you are trying to manage every angle required to bring a 13-event World Championship to life, it is probably the last thing you want to worry about.

Our approach was to take on the project management in a proactive way to ensure that the client wasn’t bothered with micro decisions that might derail the tight deadlines. We were trusted to bring our editorial and magazine experience to the project which helped us deliver a final product that aligned to our original vision.

A job well done

Nothing makes us happier than happy clients so it was thrill to hear great feedback from International Media Sales…

We are absolutely delighted with the finished publication. We engaged White Light to design, edit and produce the editorial on the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Official Programme (the biggest cycling event in history) and I cannot recommend them highly enough."

“Eric and his team were hands-on from the very start of the project, engaging in all elements of the design and editorial,” continues David. “They sat in on every meeting with the Cycling World Championships in-house team, ensuring great communication from a large number of stakeholders in what is one of the biggest sporting events in Scotland’s history.

“We are already looking forward to working with White Light again in the very near future. If you are looking for a content marketing company who give a f**k, call them.”

UCI Cycling World Championships programme layout
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