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The Dutch Lottery and BrandLoyalty have publicly declared their ambitions to become the title sponsor and sub-sponsor of the Belkin cycling team.
Team Belkin and Team BrandLoyalty — a speed skating team based in the Netherlands — signed a formal declaration of intent with Lotto and BrandLoyalty to create a combined cycling and speed skating team.
“We aspire a collaboration of two years, with the option to add another two years,” said Arno de Jong, marketing director of De Lotto. “This would make Lotto the name-giver of the first combined cycling/speed skating team. We are currently working on the details. Everything is focused on Lotto and BrandLoyalty joining forces to make sure the first professional speed skating/cycling team will start next season.”
“BrandLoyalty has always declared its intention to support Jac Orie’s speed skating team for a longer period of time,” said Marco van Bilsen, BrandLoyalty marketing director. “Next to this, it was a common goal to create a model that would provide more security and continuity. This was a reason for BrandLoyalty to make room for this unique construction.”
The teams will both continue to operate with dedicated, distinct support organization. Speed skating coach Jac Orie will maintain his staff, as will Richard Plugge, general manager of the Belkin cycling team.
However, De Jong allowed that there will likely be opportunity for the two disciplines to work together: “With this construction, the teams can collaborate organizationally as well as commercially and the collaboration can lead to the transmission of knowledge between the teams, which will ultimately lead to an optimal facilitation of the athletes.”
At the time of the announcement, Lotto and BrandLoyalty would not confirm the new team’s name, colors, roster, or budget.
Since June, Belkin team officials have sought a new sponsor, after the consumer electronics brand unexpectedly announced its departure from the sport after only one year of sponsorship.