Oleg Tinkov

Oleg Tinkov

Oleg Tinkov, January 2015

Oleg Tinkov, January 2015
Born 1967-12-25 (1967-12-25) (age 48)
Occupation Russian businessman, cycling sponsor

Oleg Tinkov (Олег Тиньков, also Oleg Tinkoff, b. 25 December 1967) is a Russian businessman, who came to prominence by brewing upscale beers for young professionals in Russia.[1] In 2005, he sold the brewery business for €167 million to InBev of Belgium, emerging as one of Russia's "biggest success stories".[2]


The son of a Siberian miner,[2] Tinkov grew up in the town of Leninsk-Kuznetsky in east Russia. He took up bicycle racing while studying mining at an institute in St. Petersburg.[3] In the glasnost era of the 1980s, he quit his studies and opened a business called Technoshock importing electronics. He sold this in 1997 to open a convenience food company[4] and eventually, the brewery and brewpub business, Tinkoff brewery. He used the -ff version of his name and claimed links to the imperial family,[3] to give it a more upscale image.

Tinkoff brewery grew rapidly in an era when Russian beer was of extremely poor quality. By introducing international standards along with aggressive marketing, Tinkoff breweries grew rapidly. One of its ads showed a lesbian interest[5] and was "too hot for TV".[2] About it, Tinkov said: "people who are scandalized by this are stupid and narrow-minded."[1] Within five years, as Russian beer consumption boomed, the company was selling 20 million litres of beer.

After selling the brewery, in 2007, he formed Tinkoff Credit Systems (now Tinkoff Bank), which pioneered mail and internet marketing in Russia to rapidly become one of Russia's largest credit card companies, currently known as Tinkoff bank, which is seen as a "lightfooted financial services company offering credit cards".[3] He often appears himself on ads for the company.[6]

As of 2012, Tinkov has been looking to sell his banking business and possibly create an airline.[7]

Professional Cycling sponsor

Oleg Tinkov, May 9th, 2015

In 2006, Tinkov sponsored a Russian cycling team under the name Tinkoff restaurants, later re-christened as Tinkoff Credit Systems. It participated in the 2007 Giro d'Italia with a very young team.[8] In recent years, he has been the major sponsor for Bjarne Riis's Team Saxo-Tinkoff,[9] which has several leading cyclists including Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan and Rafał Majka.

After the 2013 Tour de France, Oleg Tinkov announced he was ending his sponsorship of Team Tinkoff-Saxo in favour of reviving Tinkoff Credit Systems from January 2014, with a commitment for five years.[10] However in late 2013, Tinkoff bought Team Saxo-Tinkoff for six million Euros,[11] and has announced Bjarne Riis would stay on as manager under a three-year contract.


  1. 1 2 ERIN E. ARVEDLUNDPublished: June 15, 2004 (2004-06-15). "A Mix of Beer, Free Speech and Home-Grown Hip - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  2. 1 2 3 "Oleg Tinkov - from Russian beer baron to advertising mogul". Venturevillage.eu. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  3. 1 2 3 "oleg tinkov returns". inrng. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  4. "The Russia Forum 2013 – Oleg Tinkov". 2013.therussiaforum.com. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  5. "AdRespect Advertising Education Program". Adrespect.org. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  6. "Image: dsc02664.jpg, (3264 × 2448 px)". rge.ru. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  7. "Tinkov to Create Airline | Business". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  8. "Banking On Russians". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  9. "Tinkoff Bank To Take Over As Sole Sponsor For Saxo-Tinkoff?". Cyclingnews.com. 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  10. Weir, Keith; O'Connor, Philip (25 July 2013). Palmer, Justin, ed. "UPDATE 1-Cycling-Tinkoff ends sponsor deal, to launch own team". Reuters.
  11. "Report: Tinkov buys team from Riis for 6 million Euro | Cyclingnews.com". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2015-09-01.

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