Saxo Bank, the trading and investment specialist, will take over the full title sponsorship of Riis Cycling in 2012. In 2011 the sponsorship was held jointly with SunGard, one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies, but Saxo Bank has now decided to exercise an option to step up and become the sole title sponsor. All three parties have agreed that the timing is now right for a smooth transition, where SunGard will discontinue its sponsorship.
Saxo Bank has sponsored Riis Cycling since 2008, and Saxo Bank’s decision to once again become sole title sponsor of the team is based on a genuine wish to support the team and a commercial decision to further build on the advantages that Saxo Bank believes are extended through this additional commitment to Riis Cycling.
Team owner Bjarne Riis says:
“Since 2008 Saxo Bank and Riis Cycling have proven to be a great match. I am proud that a truly professional company such as Saxo Bank not only continues to see the commercial benefits in sponsoring our teams, but also shows its commitment and faith in our work by stepping up to become the sole title sponsor. This is evidence of a great partnership, and I’m convinced there are many more gains to be realized from this relationship in the future.”
In a joint statement, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, co-CEOs and co-founders of Saxo Bank, say:
“Saxo Bank was offered an option to become the sole title sponsor of Riis Cycling, which was an offer we could not turn down. From the outset, we have sincerely wanted to support Bjarne Riis and his team and with our continued geographical expansion, the sponsorship also makes good sense commercially. While the decision to continue as full title sponsor is a strategic one, our past collaboration with the team has been fantastic, and we are looking forward to watching Team Saxo Bank race across the streets of the world in 2012.”
SunGard became a sponsor of Riis Cycling below title level in 2010. This paved the way for SunGard to announce the co-title sponsorship deal for 2011 and 2012 during the 2010 Tour de France.
Bjarne Riis says:
“We have had a great partnership with SunGard, and I’m forever grateful for SunGard believing in us and stepping up to sponsoring the team at title level at what was a very difficult moment for the team, but SunGard did never hide that this wasn’t part of their long-term strategy.”
With Saxo Bank ready to take over the full title sponsorship again, the parties have agreed for SunGard to step down and terminate SunGard’s deal for next year. The agreement has no influence on the 2012 team budget.
George Thomas, SunGard’s vice president of communications said:
“We have had a successful partnership with Riis Cycling over the past two years and we are pleased that we were part of the team’s success. The decision to end our sponsorship was a business decision and not related to the team. We know we are leaving them with a great sponsor in Saxo Bank and we wish them much continued success.”
In 2012 the name of the professional cycling team will be “Team Saxo Bank Professional Cycling Team.”