Parx Casino Continues Bid for Endurance Racing
Philly Cycling Classic Concludes Its Second Year
Philadelphia has always been at the forefront of cycling in the United States, but the 2013 Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic promised to revolutionize the local cycling scene and “bring renewed energy, fresh ideas and passionate leadership to start a new tradition and establish a new identity for Philadelphia in pro cycling.” Having just concluded its second year, has the Philly Cycling Classic been successful so far?
The Philly Cycling Classic was established because it recognized a need for a better platform for Philadelphia’s pro cyclists. For years, many cyclists had complained of the blatant sexism in cycling. Tales of easier courses to lower professional wages have emerged, painting a startling picture of an industry that gets away with sexism on a daily basis. Emphasizing equality – rewarding women’s races the same purse as men’s races – above else, the Philly Cyclic Classic was successful in shifting away from longstanding traditions in pro cycling, allowing men and women to compete on equal terms for the first time.
The race was also sponsored by Parx Casino, the leading casino in Pennsylvania in terms of revenue. The success of the event has led to great returns for the casino, as its exposure in the event as a name sponsor has allowed for it to become a well-known brand in the community. Exposure to the local community is of utmost importance in today’s congested casino industry. Since internet gambling was established in 1996 with CryptoLogic’s launch of Intercasino, land-based casinos have struggled to stay afloat – a fact that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has repeatedly pointed out. Parx Casino has certainly done a great job of finding an alternative way of creating brand awareness while tapping into one of the community’s shared interests.
More than anything, the Philly Cycling Classic has served to bridge Philadelphia’s towns together. With a course that ran through the communities of Manayunk, East Falls and Fairmount Park, in plain view of all the members of the community, the event became a shared experience that everyone in Philadelphia could be proud of. Mustering a sense of community that is seldom seen in races, the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic has certainly accomplished what it set out to do: renew interest in pro cycling in Philly, and generate a new notion of what it means to be a pro cycler in Philly.