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September 17, 2015

Supporter stories: When sports and technology met

The story behind our partners HTC’s support of Ciclaton, a sports adventure with a fundraising mission.


It was a searing early-fall day when a group of 30 cyclists left Sibiu, and embarked on Ciclaton, a Transylvanian tour on wheels that would last for five days, with the goal of raising funds for five education related NGO projects. Back in Bucharest, at one of their their strategic partners’ headquarter, HTC employees were following live updates on the bikers’ positions, on a virtual map.

Marcian Enache and Irina Calomir, founders of Ciclaton, wanted to offer live access to the tour experience to everybody involved so HTC phones and devices were fixed on the bikes and the cars that followed the group, and a GPS application traced the signals.

“This had to be a story that was also told through technology”, said a HTC representative. “These are the kinds of details that involve you, as a company, more than just donating for a cause. You could watch them live, cheer for them. And this was important because it tightened the community created around this action”, she added.

IMG_1165Ciclaton was started last year by Marcian and Irina, two colleagues and cycling aficionados. They had been promoting the sport in their company, Orange, for a while, wanting to create a biking community. Last year, they decided to add a charitable dimension to the tours they were organizing with their colleagues, and they both believed education was the key to bring about change in society. The concept they came up with was that each biker who enrolled on the tour had to choose one project and convince their friends, families, and acquaintances to donate money for it. The first edition brought together 14 cyclists who raised 33.500 lei for three projects.

This year, Marcian and Irina wanted to have an even bigger impact. They turned to HTC for support, a company that was more and more involved in sports like cycling or running, whom they believe target the same audience. “HTC is the innovative, smart, going-against-the-flow alternative. The underdog, so to speak. And cyclists, runners, they are the underdogs, if we compare them to football, for example”.

Most of the 30 bikers who hit the road on September 2 aren’t professional cyclists, but people with an appetite for the sport who wanted to test themselves, while helping others. The tour was a challenge: 660 km, on torrid days followed by rainy ones, through 11 towns, from Sibiu to Sighișoara, Târgu Mureș, Cluj, Deva , Alba Iulia, and back to Sibiu.

IMG_1342The reward for their effort was the 44.000 lei they raised so far. But just part of their journey ended, says Marcian. The hard, physical, visible part. The race to gather more funds for the projects continues until the end of September.

Part of a series dedicated to the supporters who help make the conference possible. We thank them for their contribution.