Riis Cycling (RC) announced that Saxo Bank will be a title sponsor for the cycling team. The agreement will let Saxo Bank become a co-sponsor of Team CSC together with CSC. The agreement becomes effective immediately, which means that Team CSC will appear as Team CSC/Saxo Bank at the upcoming Tour De France. Computer Sciences Corporation announced last March that they would not renew their sponsorship of the cycling team after the 2008 season.
The agreement runs to the end of this year, and on January 1st 2009 Saxo Bank becomes the sole main sponsor of the team that, from then on, will be known as Team Saxo Bank. The duration term of the contract is three years.
"With Saxo Bank, we have found the perfect partner for the future. We are extremely proud to become associated with such a strong brand and a company that has a great passion for our team and our values. It has been a pleasure closing a deal with such dedicated and professional people as Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen. From day one, we have found a great understanding and this promises to become a first class collaboration for the years to come," says Bjarne Riis.
Signing the agreement with RC, Saxo Bank's founders and joint CEOs, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen pointed out that this is an opportunity they have been waiting for for a long time. "For a global bank like ours, this is the perfect match and when it became possible, we just could not let this chance pass by," they said in a joint statement. "Team CSC/Saxo Bank has the international reach and name recognition that means that we will be able to get our message out to most of our clients group around the globe. We love the sport, we trust Bjarne Riis, and believe that together we will be winners."
"At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our main sponsor CSC for their passionate and consistent support," Riis said. "They have made it possible for us to become the best team in the world. We have achieved fantastic results thanks to their dedication. The level and the quality of this partnership is what we want to continue with Saxo Bank as our new sponsor."
Saxo Bank takes over the sponsorship from CSC whose contract with the team expires by the end of the year: CSC has been the team's main sponsor since 2001.
In explaining their decision to sponsor the team, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen in their statement said that, in addition to being one of the world's most popular and watched sports with an audience of billions of viewers, cycling on this level expresses the same kind of values and attitudes that Saxo Banks identifies with. "Winning and team work, is what Saxo Bank has been about from the outset," they said. "Endurance and passion are some of the other features that we have in common. We are proud that we now will have the opportunity to highlight these values and show what sports and business can do together."
The two CEOs have worked closely with their counterparts at CSC during this transition, and they point out that the CSC executives generously have shared their sponsorship experience with them. "We are very pleased that CSC has included us a co-sponsors for the remainder of their contract with RC creating the best possible transition for the team and us as the new main sponsors," Fournais and Christensen said. "It goes without saying that this is the best possible scenario for all stakeholders."
At CSC, this is also significant and good news.
"We are pleased to welcome Saxo Bank onboard as a co-sponsor of Team CSC for the remainder of 2008 and thrilled that they will become the team's title sponsor in 2009," said David Booth, President of Global Sales and Marketing for CSC. "We have enjoyed an incredible partnership with the Team for these past eight years; helping them secure another strong partner like Saxo Bank is in keeping with that spirit of partnership."
For Bjarne Riis, the partnership with Saxo Bank will secure the kind of stability that is necessary for the team's future success. He too, sees the sponsorship agreement with Saxo Bank as a match between two partners that have much to offer each other.
"Now we can focus on the next big event - Tour de France knowing that we have the possibility to build a team for the future with Saxobank. We are very ambitious about being the best team in the world and with Saxobank on board we have found the best possible partner for this project," says Bjarne Riis.
The nine RC riders will get started as Team CSC-Saxo Bank in Brest when Tour de France takes off on July 5th.