December 15 - British Sky Broadcasting have announced that Sky Italia and News Corporation have taken on a share of the sponsorship of the newly-formed Team Sky cycling team.

Both businesses will be represented on Team Sky's operating board but the outfit, having last week announced the signing of three-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins on a £900,000 four-year deal, will remain a British-directed project and receive no further investment as a consequence of the deal.

Sky Italia is wholly owned by News Corporation, which retains a significant stake in BSkyB and also owns the Sun, the Times, the Sunday Times and the News of the World as well as other media and entertainment interests across the world.

Team Sky already has a significant Italian connection - riders Davide Vigano, Dario Cioni and Morris Possoni are Italian and the team will race on bikes made by the Italian manufacturer Pinarello.

Announcing the new investors, Robert Tansey, brand marketing director of BSkyB, said: "We have the perfect partners backing this team and welcome Sky Italia and News Corporation on board.

"Italy has a great heritage in road cycling, through its riders and manufacturers, and that is already reflected in our team.

"They have a real passion for the sport and we're delighted that Sky Italia has joined us.

"News Corporation is a leading broadcaster in sport globally and brings a huge range of skills and experience.

"Team Sky is a very exciting project with great ambition; not only to win in style and with the right racing attitude but to inspire the public to enjoy cycling too.

"[Team principal] Dave Brailsford has formed an impressive group of riders, coaches and crew and we are looking forward to Team Sky's debut at the Tour Down Under next month."

Team Sky was created by BSkyB in February 2009 with Brailsford at the head of it.

It was awarded a four-year UCI Pro Licence this autumn and will first compete at the Tour Down Under in January.

In addition, British Cycling's academy, where Max Sciandri helps to train Britain's future talent, is based in Tuscany.

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Wiggins finally gets dream transfer and joins Team Sky
November 2009: Italians sign for Team Sky
September 2009: Team Sky given pro licence for 2010
May 2009: BSkyB to pour millions into British Tour de France team
October 2008: British Cycling launch new Sky team