They call it guerilla marketing - and anyone who wants a piece of Tour de France action can try it.
As a global event with global sponsors, use of official logos and branding is strictly controlled.
But the colour yellow isn’t. Nor is white with red polka dots - king of the mountains - or French food, or racing bikes or a host of other concepts which hint at Le Tour without breaking the rules.
Brendan Moffett, director of Marketing Sheffield, urges every business to get involved.
He said: “We have got to be very sensitive to the requirements of the official body and their sponsors. We want to retain our reputation as a host for world class events so we can’t go anywhere near using trademarks but that doesn’t stop you being creative. There are big themes you can use.”
He gives these examples:
Harewood House - the race goes through the grounds - is staging an unofficial Yorkshire festival of cycling,
A cafe in North Yorkshire has a polka dot interior. “It says ‘come here for the Tour de France’,”Brendan says.
A Sheffield hotel has installed new cycling racks.
“It’s a really small expense that says cyclists are welcome here. They then bring their family and stay for a few days, spending their disposable income.
“Think about customers and get them here. We will never have a better opportunity and in theory you don’t have to spend much money. You can build an itinerary based on free events. If you are running a business the cultural festival will be going on three months. Don’t wait until race weekend.
“We will be publishing a visitor guide in spring. If companies are staging events that stand out they are more likely to be in there and written about in newspapers.”