Garmin, Saxo Bank introduce new title sponsors

TV maker Sharp joins Garmin as new co-title sponsor, while Tinkoff Bank partners with Saxo Bank

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Two of cycling’s biggest teams announced new sponsors on Monday, five days before the Tour de France starts in Liège, Belgium. Slipstream Sports and Riis Cycling have reached deals with a major technological brand and a Russian bank, respectively.

Slipstream Sports announced Monday that it had signed Sharp as the Garmin-Barracuda team’s new co-title sponsor.

“Sharp shares our passion and commitment to the best innovations in technology,” said Slipstream CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “We are incredibly excited to partner with them to together develop technologies that will help our riders do what they do every day, even better.”

The team, which will officially be known by the UCI as Garmin-Sharp (though Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda will appear on its website), will unveil its new jersey on Thursday at its pre-Tour de France press conference.

“In the year Sharp celebrates 100 years of creating unique technologies and products that bring genuine benefit to society, we are delighted to become Technology Partner to the most exciting team in one of the world’s most beautiful sports, which perfectly showcases the convergence of technological and human achievement,” said Sharp Europe CEO Paul Molyneux. “Sharp has a strong focus on developing its brand presence globally, and this offers us the opportunity to put ourselves in front of a significant, new, world-wide audience. Sharp is dedicated to its founding ideals of sincerity and creativity, and with their clear commitment to ethical innovation, Slipstream are the perfect fit.”

According to a Slipstream release, Sharp will collaborate with the team on new technology and will “outfit the team with its leading Aquos LCD screens, audio products, solar panels, air purification systems, microwave and steam cooking equipment, refrigerators and multifunction printing devices.”


Bjarne Riis announced in a press conference Monday that Tinkoff Bank would join his Saxo Bank squad as a new co-title sponsor through 2013. The team unveiled its new jersey, which riders will wear at the Tour de France when the race opens on Saturday June 30.

The Russian financial services firm, owned by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkoff, is partnering with Saxo Bank on the business front and that partnership will now carry over to cycling. The move marks a return to cycling for Tinkoff, whose Tinkoff Restaurants-turned Tinkoff Credit Systems squad was the foundation for the Katusha ProTeam. Tinkoff left Katusha over management disagreements.

Riis also announced that Saxo Bank had renewed its sponsorship through 2013. The team’s new name will be Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

“This is indeed a great day and a proud moment for our cycling team, and I believe we now have a very strong setup for the future development of Riis Cycling and our team,” said Riis.

“To continue with Saxo Bank as a main sponsor shows in words and action that together we have been able to build an extremely strong partnership based on the obvious benefits for both of us over the past five years. Today, to also be able to announce and warmly welcome Tinkoff Bank on board makes me even more proud. I’m honored to partner with two such highly professional and dedicated companies, who share a great passion for cycling, but also see commercial benefits in sponsoring our team.”

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