How talent becomes professional, thanks to the National Lottery
For 30 years in a row, the National Lottery with its brand Lotto is chief sponsor of the pre-eminent Belgian cycling team on the highest level. Besides that, the National Lottery supports cycling in the width of the field. This involves several big and small cycling related events and the scouting and training of young talents.
In the future, the team will be more and more used as the ‘billboard on wheels’ and exploited to create a positive vibe around cycling in its widest context, all covered by the project ‘BE Cycling’. This project will be recognizable for every cyclist and it will be accessible for Belgian companies who cherish the ambition of being ambassador of ‘BE Cycling’.
Marc Frederix, marketing director National Lottery: “The user of the Lotto brand has an extraordinary passion for cycling, therefore he expects the National Lottery to be supportive in Belgian cyling on any level: from recreational cycling to the cycling schools, from the Lotto Talent project, scientific research, several teams in each region, a youth team, training project in Flanders and Wallonia to the National and Olympic team in all cycling disciplines (track, road, BMX, MTB,…). This tight social embedding makes this Lotto-project unique in the globalising world of professional cycling where the power of high budgets is getting more and more dominant and the traditional cycling culture is threatened to be supressed.”
“Thanks to the sponsoring the values of the Lotto brand are daily reflected in all media and along the routes of races. Riders as ambassadors of Lotto and our team as billboard on wheels. Cycling has a uniting character and builds bridges. It creates a true community of fans and recreationists, young talents and champions, and to Lotto that’s what it’s all about. Building the cycling of tomorrow, to the future of cycling. All this is only possible with the commitment of our millions Lotto users, therefore we are very grateful.”
Kurt Van de Wouwer, responsible U23: “Within the cycling pyramid, the U23 has an important role. It offers the chance to youngsters to prove themselves. The four years of time they’re given is also to decide for their own if they are ready to take a step into professional cycling whether or not with the Lotto Belisol team. Detection and scouting are two crucial parts of our operation. We try to offer a chance to talented juniors, but it also works in the other way: juniors knock on our door. Earning money isn’t a big topic for them nor is it for us. They know they’ll get an attractive racing scheme and can gain experience in foreign races. Moreover they can use good material thanks to the support of Ridley and they’re guided by Energy Lab. Above all, these young riders know that there is possibly a chance to step it up a notch to the highest level. That’s what really is important to the Belgian cycling. And without the National Lottery the Belgian cycling wouldn’t be where it is now.”
Marc Sergeant, manager Lotto Belisol: “Only in the Lotto Belisol team youngsters like Tim Wellens, Stig Broeckx and Louis Vervaeke could get the chance to move on up. Just like Tosh Van der Sande, Bart De Clercq en Kris Boeckmans already got their chance. And how many Belgians riding in a foreign team got their chances with Lotto and are now profiting from that? Offering chances to young talent and give possibilities to the best has be remain one of our core businesses. Getting opportunities is the best motivation to work hard. If those riders evolve like for example Tim Wellens did, then that is a big satisfaction to everyone who cares for Belgian cycling.”