Navigation systems manufacturer Garmin Ltd. has announced plans to extend its sponsorship of the Garmin-Slipstream team, adding three years to a deal that was set to expire at the end of 2010.
Citing the team’s performance and its commitment to “ethical sporting and developing the next generation of cycling champions,” the company said its sponsorship for the past 18 months has exceeded expectations.
“Our objectives were – and continue to be – to integrate our products on sports’ biggest stages and to build global brand awareness,” said Garmin vice president of communications, Jon Cassat, in a release issued Tuesday. “Whether capturing victories around the world, winning national championships or working to develop future generations of talent, Team Garmin has helped us achieve those objectives and has made an impression on billions of potential customers.”
The company’s renewed sponsorship will continue through the 2013 season.
“Garmin’s business goals are to extend the reach and success they have achieved in the US and Europe and to create a global marketing platform for their brand,” said Matt Johnson, President of Slipstream. “The extension of this sponsorship is a testament to the team meeting those business goals.”
Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, said the team has helped promote the company’s product, while providing feedback for new designs, including the new GPS-enabled Edge 500 cycling computer, which is expected to be released later this year.
Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports, said that the sponsorship has been successful because both the team and its sponsor share a “commitment to innovation and integrity.”
The team can trace its roots back to Vaughters’ 5280 team, a development squad started with the sponsorship of a regional magazine in Colorado. The team has continued to grow, earning a Tour de France invitation in 2008 and attaining ProTour status in 2009. The team continues to operate on its founding principle of taking a strong stance against doping, working in conjunction with Anti-Doping Research, Inc. (ADR) and ADSI (the Anti-Doping Sciences Institute).
“When Garmin first decided to partner with us, we said we believed that a new era of cycling was upon us. Today, with this significant extension, we can now say the era is here,” said Vaughters.
While the team’s financial future appears to be secure, there are still questions revolving around the possible composition of the squad going into 2010.
Although Bradley Wiggins, fourth-place finisher in this year’s Tour de France, has a year remaining on his contract with the team, there have been several reports that he is being actively recruited by the newly formed Sky team in Britain.
Conversely, Garmin-Slipstream is also said to be one of the teams being considered by two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador, who is currently seeking a way out of the last year of his contract with Astana. That question may be resolved this week, as the UCI licensing commission reviews the ProTour status of the Astana team, which has been plagued by financial problems and questions regarding its stance on the question of doping.