When Team Sky's Chris Froome crossed the finish line on the Champs-Èlysèes on Sunday, cementing a 72-second lead over his nearest competitor Nairo Quintana, he became the first Briton in history to win the Tour de France twice. Team Sky, sponsored by 21st Century Fox, collected the overall team award, marking the third time the team has won the Tour in the past four years.
Froome was quick to attribute his success to his fellow riders. "Without you guys, I would not be standing up here," he said to his teammates from the winners' podium. "My utmost respect and gratitude: this is your yellow jersey as much as it is mine."
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford, echoed Froome's sentiments in a subsequent interview: "Chris couldn't win the biggest bike race in the world without a fantastic team behind him. When you've got a group of world-class guys who are willing to sacrifice everything they've got, every single day to help Chris win. And that's what they did, they pulled together and it was an amazing thing to watch."
This emphasis on teamwork and inclusivity has long been a characteristic of both Team Sky's athletic training and its outreach efforts. Its popular SkyRide events, for example, have become a primary means for the team to inspire its fans to live healthier, more active lifestyles.
SkyRide began in 2009 as an event to encourage fans to introduce regular exercise to their daily routines. The first event offered fans the chance to participate in a special traffic-free bike ride on a 15-kilometer route through London, and more than 65,000 people attended. The events have only grown in popularity since, and they now include dozens of partner rides in cities throughout the UK every year.
Team Sky estimates that programs like these have inspired more than 1 million people in the UK to take up regular cycling.
Earlier this year, when the team competed in the Amgen Tour of California, they continued in this spirit of "Inspiration to Participation" by hosting the Soul Cycle | Team Sky Pro Challenge, a high-energy spin class at SoulCycle Beverly Hills to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In addition, 21st Century Fox donated bikes, equipment, and Team Sky gear to local chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Los Angeles area, helping introduce new youth communities to active, healthy lifestyles.
For more information on Team Sky and its outreach efforts, visit TeamSky.com.
On Wednesday, July 22, FOX will premiere Home Free, its first reality series on homes and interior design in more than a decade. The series, hosted by professional contractor and HGTV personality Mike Holmes, challenges nine couples to renovate one run-down house per week in service of families in need. At the conclusion of the eight-week series, the winning couple will win their ultimate dream home.
Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television and executive producer of Home Free, says he was eager to develop a series that could have a positive impact. "I like shows I can watch with my kids, things that are pro-social without being preachy," he told Advertising Age.
The launch of the series has also given the Fox community the chance to take on their own DIY projects. Employees from across 21st Century Fox's New York businesses came together with Holmes for a Habitat for Humanity home build on July 8. Fox colleagues teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity volunteers to help renovate a house in Queens, New York, with Holmes on site leading the charge.
Home Free premiers Wednesday, July 22, at 9:00 PM ET on FOX. For more information, visit FOX.com.
Photo by Ben Hider for FOX.
On July 17, 21st Century Fox launched a $500,000 Challenge Grant to Hampton University's Scripps Howard School of Journalism. The funds will support the activities of the School's new Center for Innovation in Digital Media, which is designed to enable Hampton University students to learn about and explore new ways of gathering and distributing media content.
"This grant exemplifies 21st Century Fox's continuing mission to cultivate and nurture the next generation of storytellers on all platforms," said Julie Henderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of 21st Century Fox. "The invaluable work done by Hampton's Center for Innovation in Digital Media underscores the need to empower young people with the necessary tools to realize their dreams within the creative industries, and we are immensely proud to be a part of that process."
The Center's mission is to foster diversity within digital media, providing the industry with broader ranks of innovative and competitive talent and aspiring entrepreneurs. The grant will cover, among other initiatives, digital media projects by students, which include producing research, business plans, media products such as apps, and also assist in placing graduates in digital media jobs.
"This generous grant not only recognizes the extraordinary potential that these students possess, it also challenges other media companies to step up and acknowledge that the future of the industry is dependent upon developing a broad and diverse workforce," said Brett Pulley, dean of the Scripps Howard School. "This challenge grant will help us establish a program that will place our students among the great young minds now focused on creating new media platforms and pioneering the future of our industry."
For more information on the grant, or to inquire about contributing, visit HamptonU.edu.
On Sunday, July 12, her 18th birthday and the third annual Malala Day, Nobel Peace Prize winner and girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai--star of the upcoming Fox Searchlight documentary film He Named Me Malala--opened a new school for the young women of Syria who have been forced to leave their homes due to ongoing armed conflict. The school, based near the Syrian border in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, will welcome up to 200 girls ages 14 to 18.
"I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria," Malala said in a statement. "Their courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world, and it is our duty to stand by them."
Students can train to receive their baccalaureate or vocational degrees through the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and they can also take skills courses intended to help them find work.
In addition, the day marked the culmination of the #BooksNotBullets campaign, an online initiative asking people to post photos of themselves with their favorite book and urge world leaders to increase support for education.
"On behalf of the world's children, I demand of our leaders to invest in books instead of bullets," Malala said. "Books, not bullets, will pave the path toward peace and prosperity... To all the students, you will read new books. You will discover new ideas. You will learn together. You will dream together. And you will inspire the world."
On October 2, Fox Searchlight will release He Named Me Malala, director Davis Guggenheim's documentary on Malala's life and work. The fall theatrical release will be followed by a spring television broadcast on the National Geographic Channels, airing in 171 countries and 45 languages. The film's launch will coincide with an international advocacy and fundraising campaign to champion girls' education in partnership with the Malala Fund.
For more information on the film and how to get involved, visit Malala.org.
Photo Credit: Malin Fezehai / HUMAN for the Malala Fund
The Fox Writers Intensive, a competitive career-development program for writers from diverse backgrounds, has named Cindy Fang as its 2015 Fellow. Fang is currently in discussions for a script development deal with FOX Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television.
"Authenticity is essential to successful storytelling. That process starts with hiring writers with diverse and authentic points of view, and that's exactly who we want to engage through the Fox Writers Intensive," said Nicole A. Bernard, Executive Vice President of Audience Strategy for 21st Century Fox.
Fang was selected from a group of 10 finalists, who spent the past four months on the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles honing their craft, attending workshops, and meeting with senior executives from across the Fox film and television businesses, including 20th Century Fox Film, FOX Broadcasting Company, and FX Networks. The finalists also worked with top writers and producers, including Virgil Williams of Criminal Minds and Ilene Chaiken of Empire.
"The FWI program has been invaluable to me as the showrunner of Empire," Chaiken said. "Fox cultivates these individuals into excellent storytellers, and I can't speak highly enough about the benefits."
All of the finalists are being promoted across the Fox creative community and submitted for potential staffing on current and future Fox entertainment productions. To date, six of the FWI finalists have been staffed on series for 2015-16, including Empire, The Frankenstein Code, Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, Lucifer, and Rosewood.
Visit The Wrap for more information, including the full list of finalists.