Welcome to Curious Conversations, where we get to know business leaders and hear about their perspectives on all things growth, innovation, and life.
In our latest installment, Bold Orange CEO, Margaret Murphy, sits down with Charles Aaron, Managing Director of CircuitSport and the Human Powered Health professional cycling team to discuss his career and how a passion for cycling and making a healthier world led him to the Tour de France. Watch the full episode below to learn how Charles stayed resilient and leaned into his entrepreneurial spirit to build a world-class team.
Charles Aaron, Managing Director, CircuitSport
About Charles Aaron
Charles Aaron has been in the professional cycling business for nearly three decades. As a child, he dreamt of making a name for himself as a professional racer. When an opportunity opened to be a part of team management for a local racing team, he jumped at the chance. It would lead to a lifetime career pursuit in the sport.
Aaron’s teams became global leaders on the red-hot World Cup Mountain Bike Racing scene in the early 1990s. Mountain biking gave way to road racing as cycling’s premiere avenue for sponsorship-based sports marketing and Aaron was able to reimagine his vision for a professional team and reignite a passion for one day racing in the Tour de France.
He recognized the power of road cycling as a marketing and branding vehicle and in 2007, together with John Kelly, he launched the Kelly Benefit Strategies team and became the first-ever freshman Continental team to win the U.S. Criterium Championship. Since then, Aaron has grown his management team, structure, and talent pool to new heights in American cycling. In 2010, Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum Health joined the program and became an instrumental partner. With Optum Health, they added a professional women’s team and greatly expanded their health and wellness platform. In 2016 they introduced Rally Health, and soon after Rally Cycling became the first Continental team in cycling history to win World Tour ranked stages at the 2017 Tour of California.
The team officially joined the UCI ProTeam division in 2018 and in 2022 they formed Human Powered HealthTM, a health and wellness platform that promotes physical and mental well-being.
CircuitSport believes bikes have the power to transform people’s health and well-being. Many of the health challenges society faces are within our own control. One good decision creates positive ripple effects. We can add more physical activity into our daily lives. We can make better nutritional choices. And we can take steps to cultivate a more positive mindset and greater mental well-being.
About Human Powered Health
Human Powered Health is one of the most successful professional road cycling programs in North American history. Human Powered Health men’s and women’s racing teams have more than 300 total wins since 2012, and in 2022 the women’s program joins the world’s most elite league, the WorldTour. Human Powered Health is also an inspirational rallying cry with a simple, vital mission – to inspire people to take small, simple steps towards greater health and wellbeing. Learn more at www.humanpoweredhealth.com.