What's Cool In Road Cycling

GDF SUEZ-New Member of the ‘Top Sponsor’ Club


The world’s largest independent utility company has chosen the ‘Corsa Rosa’ as its promotional vehicle in Italy.

Milan, 11 March 2014 – Today, in the Montelli Rooms at the RCS headquarters in Via Solferino, a sponsorship agreement tying GDF SUEZ to the Giro d’Italia for the 2014 was unveiled. The agreement was announced in the context of a more wide-ranging debate on the evolution of sponsorship in sport. The ‘Corsa Rosa’ starts in Ireland on 9 May and finishes on 1 June in Trieste. Last season, the Giro d’Italia achieved impressive numbers: 11 million roadside spectators; 174 countries viewing the event live on TV in five continents; 1595 media accreditations issued; more than a billion unique visitors to websites around the world that covered the Giro; 60 million Euros of value generated in visibility for sponsors’ brands.

World energy leader GDF SUEZ greeted with enthusiasm the opportunity to become a partner of the Giro d’Italia and, therefore, of a sport with a wide following in France, where the company is domiciled, and in Italy, a major market, where it is the leading energy supplier, the third largest supplier of natural gas, and the seventh largest electricity supplier, with 7 billion Euros in receipts and 3,200 employees providing 1.3 million customers with electricity and gas.

The group was looking for a sport that represented its own core values of history married to innovation, individual application combined with team spirit, respect tied to professionalism, all under the ensign of wide and lasting popularity. Beyond the Giro, no other sporting event explores Italy’s rich diversity or mobilises its public over so much of the national space.

On the race route, GDF SUEZ will have a very special place: at the final kilometre marker, one of the decisive points in the race, long anticipated by riders and fans, where energy levels rise in view of the stage finish.

Through the Giro, GDF SUEZ enters cycling as a major presence, as it is, in Italy and abroad, in sailing, tennis, football and winter sports.

Aldo Chiarini, CEO, GDF SUEZ Energia Italia: “The Giro is not just an Italian event, but is widely followed abroad, so, for a major international group like us, active in 70 countries, with a turnover of more than 81 billion and 150,000 employees, it was a natural choice,’ said Aldo Chiarini, CEO, GDF SUEZ Energia Italia and Chairman of GDF SUEZ Energy South Europe, adding that cycling is the global sport par excellence, the only truly universal sport, which embraces entire cities that to its millions of practitioners and fans.

Paolo Bellino, General Manager, RCS Sport: “To have a major, international sponsor like GDF SUEZ is both essential and extremely significant for us. The Giro d’Italia, and all of RCS Sport, is moving in a very specific direction: through our events, our brands and our professionalism, we aspire to be competitive in the Italian market while remaining attractive internationally. The entry of a Top Sponsor with an international profile proves that the path we have taken is the right one, and merits our continued efforts.”

Paolo Guenzi, Lecturer at the SDA Bocconi School of Management and Sport Business Academy: “Despite the economic crisis, the world of sports sponsorship offers enticing opportunities. The key to a successful sponsorship project is simple, but essential: in-depth knowledge, combined with rigorous and clearheaded management, informed by best practice.”

The morning debate was moderated by Pier Bergonzi, Chief Editor, La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Group GDF SUEZ is the third largest natural gas operator in the Italian energy industry, serving more than 1.3 million customers, and the seventh largest producer of electricity, with 4.4 GW of installed capacity. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT also has a strong market position, with over 2.4 million users of its environmental services. Italy is a key market where GDF SUEZ enjoys prominent positions. GDF SUEZ is the leader in energy services in Italy through its subsidiary Cofely.

GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximising the use of resources.

The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services.

GDF SUEZ employs 147,200 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €81.3 billion in 2013. The Group is listed on the Paris, Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone, Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120, Vigeo World 120, Vigeo Europe 120 and Vigeo France 20.

RCS Sport is a company that is 100% controlled by RCS MediaGroup. It specialises in sport business and offers its partners a complete and personalised series of services and a rich rights portfolio. RCS Sport owns 4 UCI World Tour events (the Giro d’Italia, Milan-Sanremo, Il Lombardia and Tirreno-Adriatico), 4 European UCI Calendar events (Strade Bianche, Roma Maxima, Gran Piemonte and Milan-Torino), and the IAAF Milan City Marathon. It’s the Dubai Tour organiser. RCS Sport is commercial advisor of the Italian Football Federation FIGC, the soccer Serie A team FC Internazionale, the Italian Basketball Federation FIP, and partner of the Italian Basketball League Serie A and Italian Serie B League of soccer.

GDF SUEZ Energia Italia CEO Aldo Chiarini (left), and the RCS Sport General Manager Paolo Bellino.

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