Faema has reconnected to the world of cycling with its official sponsorship of the Giro d’Italia at a time when community connection and unity is needed most.
After thousands of kilometres of cycling through Italy’s hillsides, towns, and picturesque landscapes, Jai Hindley became the first Australian to win the Giro d’Italia on 29 May.
The final day of the tour was one filled with celebration for the competitors, event sponsors and spectators who gathered in the Verona Arena to watch Hindley ride to victory and lift his trophy to a sea of spectators covered in pink – the official colours of the Giro.
Hindley, of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, says the highlight was winning the race and having his girlfriend and parents in the crowd, whom he hadn’t seen for two-and-half years.
“That was like really special. It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I think it will in the next few weeks or so. It still feels like a dream,” Hindley told the Giro D’Italia.
For Edgardo Ferrero, Gruppo Cimbali Global Service Director and company coordinator of the Giro d’Italia project, it was also a diplomatic moment for company’s Italian-Australian relationship after signing on as the event’s official sponsor for the next three years.
“Italy is the home of the iconic coffee culture and Faema, one of Italy’s most highly regarded espresso machine manufacturers [which has] triumphantly returned to the Giro d’Italia after 50 years,” Ferrero says. “Meanwhile, for the first time, Australia, known as being one of the major growing hubs of the worldwide coffee scene, claimed victory in the race. This could be considered a simultaneous success for not only Hindley himself but for Faema as an official partner of the event.”
Since 1909, the multi-stage annual race has become a symbol of athletic endurance and community spirit that unifies the country with routes from the south to the north of Italy, and a festival of activities and regional races that run the year-round.
Faema sponsored its own Faema team from the 1950s to 1970s, which to this day, remains one of the most successful teams of the Giro d’Italia. This year, the brand returned to the world of cycling with a renewed passion to connect with fans in a new way.
“We believe this partnership will rekindle in the hearts of fans – that old love that has been going on since the early 1950s,” says Enrico Bracesco, General Manager of Gruppo Cimbali.
Ferrero adds that the partnership is a “symbolic gesture” that represents the success and innovation of the company.
“Faema is proud to once again associate its name with Giro d’Italia and looks forward to supporting the undeniable talent of these cyclists that dedicate a significant part of their lives to their sport, just as the teams at Gruppo Cimbali commit themselves to constantly strive towards innovation,” he says.
To demonstrate Gruppo Cimbali’s more recent innovations, at each stage of the Giro d’Italia, Faema presented its custom E61 and Faema President and its latest espresso machine arrival Faemina – in custom pink – to the cyclists and spectators at the starting village each morning.
For the cyclists, the exposition of Faema’s machines gave them an opportunity to recharge with an espresso before the race. And for spectators, the tradition of socially enjoying a cup of coffee while bonding over cycling was a moment savoured after the past few years of social isolation thanks to the global pandemic. For many, it was also the first experience to view the Faemina espresso machine designed for the home and small businesses.
“Italy’s consumer market should have a positive outlook on Faema’s latest Faemina machines as indicators of Gruppo Cimbali’s steps toward future innovation. As a traditional manufacturer of professional espresso machines, it was a revolutionary decision to create a professional quality machine for the home and small business sector,” Ferrero says.
He adds that the Giro d’Italia is a wonderful opportunity to give international audiences a window into how they can bring a taste of Italy’s true espresso culture into their homes.
“Due to the lockdowns, people were forced to seek other options of getting a high-quality coffee since going outside was temporarily forbidden. Faema’s solution with Faemina made it possible for consumers to enjoy that professional quality cup from the comfort of their own home,” Ferrero says, adding that for many, it has become a permanent solution.
The Giro d’Italia has also become an opportunity to expand Faema’s international target audience, including to the United States, United Kingdom, China, Korea, and Australia.
“Thanks to our broad product portfolio and careful reading of market needs, this is a development strategy that we continue to pursue successfully, seizing the best commercial and visibility opportunities,” Bracesco says.
Gruppo Cimbali ANZ Oceania Branch Manager Angelo Caruso also sees the opportunity. He is excited about the potential for Faema and the uptake of its latest Faemina product in the ANZ market.
“The Faemina in particular is a top- end aspirational product that is one of the most technologically advanced machines for the prosumer market to replicate the café experience at home, in addition to offices, businesses and the food service market,” Caruso says.
“The design of the machine is the first thing that stands out to me, with the same group head that’s been used in Faema’s commercial President machine. Then, it’s the nice footprint, plug-and-play size, the ability to personalise the machines parameters using the connecting app, and having the versatility to produce filter coffee as well as espresso from the same unit, which is really appealing. I think customers will be genuinely excited to see this machine out in the marketplace. Those who are fortunate enough to own one are really going to love it.”
An avid cyclist and racing enthusiast himself, Caruso watched the last few stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia and was thrilled to see an Australian take the top-line honours. He says the rekindled partnership between Faema and the iconic race is an exciting opportunity to show the world the powerful synergy between the cycling and espresso culture.
“Any bicycle enthusiast knows that the shot of espresso before you start a ride is paramount. It’s the boost you need before a social ride with friends or training a couple of hundred kilometres on the weekend. It’s also what you look forward to at the end of your destination. I could never make it home without stopping off for another shot at one of my favourite cafés,” Caruso says.
Cycling remains deeply rooted into the fabric of Italian society. After the Second World War, Italians used bicycle riding to gain more confidence and connect with other villages. The Giro d’Italia did not run for two years because of the war, and spectators were held at bay during the global pandemic. This year’s event however, marked the return of the Giro in all its glory.
“The Giro d’Italia is the Formula One equivalent of racing. It’s an elite sport, Faema is an elite brand, and both our products are designed to showcase champions in the field – of cycling ability and our skills behind the coffee machine. That’s a pretty special combination,” Caruso says.
To commemorate the official partnership, Gruppo Cimbali’s MUMAC Coffee Machine Museum also hosted a temporary exhibit titled “Never Ending Love,” dedicated to Faema’s historical presence in the cycling event. It represented Faema’s return to cycling and the love that never ceased.
The exhibit featured the pink jersey of Faema team rider Eddy Merckx of Belgium, who won his first major stage race at the Giro d’Italia in 1968.
“That first year with Faema I won the Giro, I had the pink jersey for 13 days and I won four stages. It was the first great success for me, and it was for the Faema team,” Eddy told Marta Kokosar, Gruppo Cimbali Communications Director and company coordinator of the Giro d’Italia project.
“I remember that we always drank an espresso before the race and we were also given a free uniform because we always had to be dressed well to represent the company with class, and I liked this a lot. They also gave us shoes… and socks, with the inscription ‘Faema’.”
From 1968 to 1970, the Faema team became known as “Faemino-Faema” but Merckx says it was always the same, strong group of riders.
A new era of cyclists is now emerging and Faema looks forward to how that will evolve over the next three years of sponsorship. It hopes to further contribute to Italy’s community connection next year when it evolves its storytelling and shares more of the values the family- owned company believe in, such as its commitment to sustainability.
“It was a very emotional and special end to what’s been an incredible return back to the Faema’s support of the Giro d’Italia – and we can’t wait to do it all again next year,” Ferrero says. GCR
For more information, visit www.faema.com/int-en/
This article was first published in the July/August 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.