Keen cyclist Mike Gregoire is the CEO of New York enterprise software firm CA Technologies, which is valued at $14 billion (£11 billion) on the NASDAQ stock market. This weekend, he's invited 35 of his biggest customers to watch the final stage of the Tour de France in a bid to build and strengthen his company's relationship with them. They'll spectate from the finish line on the city's famous Champs Elysees. Customers of CA Technologies include the likes of BT, Loreal, Orange, and Qantas but the company wasn't willing to disclose which particular firms - or indeed which executives - will be in attendance this weekend.
While in Paris, guests will also be given behind the scenes access to riders in the Trek Segafredo cycling team, which uses CA Technologies' software to ensure each bike is perfectly set up for each rider. As if that wasn't enough, CA Technologies' guests will also get the opportunity to jump on a bike themselves and participate in a group ride, where they'll be given a special cycling jersey. This might all sound like a lot but it's worth it, according to Gregoire. "It's fun and customers love it," he told Business Insider at CA Technologies London office this week. "There's multiple purposes [for the hospitality]," Gregoire added. "First of all, it's an opportunity to have some one-on-one time [with customers] and we have an opportunity to explain our company and our products. Also, Trek are a great ambassador for us."
The Tour de France Trek Segafredo team uses a piece of CA Technologies software called "Flow Dock" to help them get the optimum settings on each rider's bike. "Flow Dock is a piece of communications software they [the Trek team] use to get instantaneous feedback from the riders on what's happening with the bikes," said Gregoire. "So they'll be on their PCs and talk about the seat height, or the stem making noise, or when I was riding at 45 mph I had a slight vibration in my fork."