German shampoo maker Alpecin to sponsor Giant

Under the four-year deal, the team will be called Giant-Alpecin beginning in January

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A German company that makes caffeine shampoo will be a major sponsor of Giant-Shimano next season.

Alpecin will sponsor the squad for the next four years. Starting in January, the team will be known as Giant-Alpecin.

“Alpecin has been committed to cycling for more than half a century,” said Eduard R. Dörrenberg, Alpecin’s executive director and shareholder, in a press release. “With this important step, for us the circle is now complete. For Alpecin, unique opportunities to activate new worldwide markets open up, working in cooperation with Giant, the biggest worldwide bike producer.”

For sensitivity reasons, Alpecin will not use its commercial slogan — “Doping, just for your hair” — in connection with its work with the cycling team.

“There is a clear division here between the sponsoring of a professional cycling team on one hand and a metaphor used purely for advertising for a shampoo on the other, one that evidently improves the performance of the hair root,” Dörrenberg said. “Consumers understand this advertising message, and the German advertising council has approved it. As a consequence of the clear split, the slogan will not be used in connection with our cycling communications.”

The team’s sprinter, Marcel Kittel, expressed his excitement at the news in a statement.

“We have all dreamt about this for a long time. Thanks to the commitment of Alpecin, Germany moves further towards the centre of attention in global cycling” said Kittel, who won a combined eight stages in the last two Tours de France. “This message can boost public interest in Germany even more. A current poll of ARD [the consortium of public broadcasters in Germany] shows that by now more than 50 percent of Germans are hoping for a return of the Tour de France to the public service live-broadcast.”

Alpecin, founded in 1905, offers several shampoos in its product line. The company conducted clinical studies in 2004 that concluded caffeine stimulates hair growth.

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