Belkin To Title Sponsor Pro Cycling Team Through '15; Will Promote Linksys Brand
Tech company Belkin today announced that it has signed an agreement to become title sponsor of the Blanco Pro Cycling Team through '15. The team will be renamed the Belkin Pro Cycling Team and begin competing under its new name and logo at the '13 Tour de France. The company wants to elevate brand awareness on a global scale for both Belkin and the Linksys brand, which it acquired earlier this year. The team's bibs will be black, white and Belkin green, and will feature both the Belkin and Linksys logos (Belkin). REUTERS' Keith Weir notes the Blanco team, which "formerly raced as Rabobank, has been seeking a new title sponsor since the Dutch financial group announced its plans to withdraw last October, frustrated by cycling's damaging series of doping scandals." Rabobank, which had been spending $19.7M a year on cycling sponsorship, had "already removed all of its branding and was only providing funding until the end of the current season." Big global companies have been "wary of getting involved with a sport" that has been linked with cheating. Belkin Founder & CEO Chet Pipkin said that he "believed his new team was committed to competing fairly" (REUTERS, 6/24). The AP's John Leicester reports Pipkin "wouldn't give a dollar figure but said Belkin's sponsorship of the team is 'the biggest one we have ever made in the marketing arena'" (AP, 6/24).