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SBD Global/June 25, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Blanco Pro Cycling Team To Be Sponsored By U.S. Tech Firm Belkin

U.S. consumer technology firm Belkin "has become the title sponsor of the Blanco Pro men's cycling team, which was formerly sponsored by Rabobank," according to Bill Wilson of the BBC. The 30-month deal "will see them renamed as the Belkin Pro Cycling Team." The new team "will make its debut" at this year's Tour de France, which begins in Corsica this weekend. Rabobank pulled out at the end of '12, saying it was unconvinced the world of int'l professional cycling "can make this a clean and fair sport" (BBC, 6/24). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin said, "With this being the 100th edition of the Tour de France, the timing couldn't be any better." Pipkin founded the company, which produces computing products including routers, in his parents' garage in California in '83. It sees cycling sponsorship "as a way to boost its brand around the globe." Cycling teams "are largely reliant on sponsorship for their income and the Dutch-based Blanco team faced extinction at the end of the year if it had not found a new backer" (REUTERS, 6/24).
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