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Saxo Bank will cease sponsorship at year’s end

The Danish financial company, Saxo Bank, announced Friday that it will cease its sponsorship of the ProTour cycling team that carries its name at the end of the 2010 season.

In a joint statement issued Friday, Saxo Bank co-founders, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, said that the company has worked well with the team, but has found that the sponsorship “has not been ideal in reaching our narrow target group.”

The team has enjoyed considerable success over the years and may have an easier time than most in securing a new title sponsor, particularly in light of the one-year’s warning team director Bjarne Riis now has.

Saxo Bank began its support of the program in 2008, when it signed on as a co-sponsor of the old CSC team and then moved to the position of title sponsor for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

“It goes without saying that we will support Team Saxo Bank and exploit the sponsorship to the full throughout the next year,” the statement noted. “As a company we still love cycling and we couldn’t have hoped for a better collaboration with the team. We have huge respect for, and trust in, Bjarne Riis and the riders, and we are certain that we will be able to celebrate many new victories in 2010.”

The two men, who share the position of CEO at Saxo Bank, said the sponsorship has “has given us a great branding opportunity and increased our name recognition around the world,” but that its marketing efforts need to be more narrowly targeted.

“We have to take this seriously and after 2010 we will use our marketing funds differently. It is our belief that a sponsor with a broader profile will achieve much more from sponsoring the cycling team.”

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