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  • Writer's pictureLewis Woodham

The Tour de France Jerseys and Their Marketing Strategy.

Few global sporting events are as steeped in tradition as the Tour de France and in particular the iconic coloured jerseys. This prestigious cycling race is not just a test of physical endurance, but also a masterclass in the power of design and colour symbolism. As a design agency helping brands in sport to stand out from the crowd, all of us here at W&H Design appreciate the impact of the jerseys in communicating the Tour De France's brand ethos to "make a positive impact by inspiring all those who can to bring cycling into their lives". The jerseys deliver a whole new dynamic to the race, so let's look at what the colours mean...

Design agency, sports marketing
Image credit: AFP via Getty Images

The Yellow Jersey: The Colour of Leadership

The Maillot Jaune, or Yellow Jersey, is arguably the most iconic symbol of the Tour de France. First introduced in 1919, the yellow colour was chosen simply because the newspaper that organised the Tour, L'Auto, was printed on yellow paper. This choice, though practical, evolved into a powerful symbol representing leadership and excellence.

The design of the Yellow Jersey has seen subtle changes over the years, reflecting the aesthetics of each era, the technological advancements in fabric and printing, and the varying branding of sponsors. However, its vibrant yellow hue remains constant, signifying its importance and instantly recognisable to fans and cyclists alike. When creating a brand’s identity and considering their logo design, the Tour de France yellow jersey serves as a lesson in the power of colour, consistency and importantly

Logo Design

The Green Jersey: The Colour of Consistency

The Maillot Vert, or Green Jersey, is awarded to the leader in the points classification, reflecting consistent high performance across all stages. The colour green was originally chosen due to the jersey's initial sponsor, a lawn mower company. However, over time, it has come to represent consistency and perseverance.

In terms of marketing in sports, the Green Jersey underlines the significance of a compelling narrative. The consistent performance it celebrates resonates with fans who appreciate the tenacity and resilience it takes to excel in every stage of the race.

Sports Marketing

The Polka Dot Jersey: The Colour of the Mountains

The jersey that stands out most in terms of design is the Maillot à Pois Rouges, or Polka Dot Jersey. It is awarded to the best climber, or 'King of the Mountains'. The red polka dots on a white background have become a unique symbol for this challenging achievement.

While the design choice was initially made to distinguish the jersey, the polka dot design has become a symbol of the Herculean task of mountain climbing in the world of cycling. It's a testament to how careful design can embody and communicate complex concepts and sentiments, a crucial aspect in effective sports branding.

Design agency London
Image: Sirotti

The White Jersey: The Colour of Youth

The Maillot Blanc, or White Jersey, is awarded to the best young rider under the age of 26. The colour white symbolises youth, hope, and the promising future of cycling. In terms of design, the White Jersey is the simplest, a fitting reflection of the potential it represents.

In marketing terms, the White Jersey underlines the importance of recognising and celebrating new talent. It attracts a younger demographic of fans, broadening the appeal of the event, and ensuring the continuity of its fanbase - a valuable lesson for marketing strategies in sport.

Design agency London
Tim de Waele // Getty Images

The Power of Colour and Symbolism in Design

The Tour de France jerseys highlight the significance of colour and symbolism in effective branding. Each jersey tells a unique story, and their colours and designs evoke specific emotions and associations. This is a crucial aspect of branding and the development of an identity that can set a brand apart in the crowded marketplace.

In sports marketing, and indeed in all forms of marketing, it is these symbols and colours that audiences connect with. They resonate on a deep, emotional level, turning casual spectators into loyal fans. As a design agency, we understand the importance of these connections and aim to create designs that speak to your audience in a similar manner.

Logo Design
Michael Steele // Getty Images


In summary, the Tour de France jerseys demonstrate the power of consistent branding, the emotional resonance of colour and design, and the impact of a compelling narrative. As we design logos, develop brand identities and devise marketing strategies, these are principles we can take inspiration from, aiming to create a brand as recognisable and impactful as the Maillot Jaune, Maillot Vert, Maillot à Pois Rouges, and Maillot Blanc of the Tour de France. If you're interested in learning how W&H Design can enhance your brand, reach out to us HERE.


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