What's Cool In Road Cycling

Sponsor Vacansoleil informs team they reached their goals and not to renew the sponsorship agreement

WorldTour Team keeps looking for signature of new title sponsors for coming years.

On Tuesday afternoon the management of Vacansoleil-DCM was informed by its title sponsor Vacansoleil on the fact that they don’t renew the sponsorship agreement. The sponsor from the early start saw a team which grew very hard since 2009 and they reached their goals with the sponsorship within five years’ time.

Team manager Daan Luijkx is happy with the clarity: “Vacansoleil took a well measured decision and as a team we were aware of this scenario coming true. The organization of the team knows which direction it wants to go and we also know what the return for sponsors consists of. Our pure story with accessibility and passion for all in cycling will also attract new companies.”

Luijkx thanks the partner: “The fact that Vacansoleil reached their goals in five years is a shame in one way since they quit but also a big compliment to the team. We are proud on the investment they dared to undertake due to the fast growth and we were blessed with the sincere commitment. They had a lot of confidence in the team and understood cycling while they kept a clear border between sports and commercial interest. The company which offers luxury camping holidays approached the sponsorship as a business transitation and used the team in all the years to activate their brand. The looked at the doping problems of the sport from the current position of the sport and the measures taken by the team which made it no issue in the decision of the team.”

The landscape of sponsorships in the sport changed in the past few years according to Luijkx partly due to big investors entering the sport. “In the coming years cycling as to adjust to become more attractive to multinationals,” says Luijkx. “The business model needs to become healthier and the divided teams need to become a combined strength, many teams understand this. Furthermore we need space for innovation in a sport which grows so fast for amateurs.”

The challenge for Luijkx is clear on the short term: “We talk to several parties who see the value of the sport in general and more specifically the team. This for example concerns getting a return of ten times the invested sponsorship amount over the complete season. Potential partners also see the chances and challenges for the sport and that this generation is a group of riders who want to compete in an honest way. The fact that Wout Poels and Thomas De Gendt underlined in interviews that they feel at home and want to continue is an extra motivation to get the signature from new partners.”

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