GreenEdge lures chemical giant as first title sponsor

Australian first division squad agrees to a three-year deal with Australian mining firm Orica Limited

Photo: Luca Bettini

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Australian ProTeam GreenEdge today announced that the squad has partnered with mining services firm Orica Limited. Beginning on Saturday at the Giro d’Italia, the team will take on the new name of Orica-GreenEdge.

“This is a rare and fantastic opportunity to secure the founding co-naming sponsorship with this ground-breaking sporting venture,” said Orica managing director and CEO Ian Smith. “GreenEdge is the first Australian team at this level and it offers Orica a powerful sports marketing platform, perfectly aligned with our values and drivers.”

Jayco Caravans mogul Gerry Ryan has been the driving force behind GreenEdge since the team’s inception in 2011. Ryan sought a title sponsor for his project and found one in Smith’s 140-year-old firm, which is Australia’s largest chemical company.

“We’re extremely proud to be teaming up with Orica in our debut season and onwards. It’s the perfect partner for us and we couldn’t have found a more ambitious and forward thinking company to get onboard,” said Ryan.

“We have had a dream start to our sporting goals, winning big races and putting GreenEdge on the map in professional cycling. This relationship with Orica, and our existing partners, will continue to make GreenEdge grow — for the athletes, for our fantastic fans and for cycling in general. It’s a significant milestone for us.”

The recruitment of a major sponsor like Orica is a boon to the sport in what has been a challenging season for team sponsorship. ProTeams including Euskaltel-Euskadi and Liquigas-Cannondale face a tough economic climate in Europe as they seek to attract new sponsors, or renegotiate with current backers, for 2013.

Smith said that the similarities between his brand and cycling were part of what attracted him to enter the sport.

“Cycling is dynamic, competitive and truly appeals to a global audience. We have a lot in common with the team; we’re both multi-national organizations with an Australian DNA, and we share mutual aspirations driven by a focus on innovation and team work,” he said. “This sponsorship forms one of the strategic platforms for Orica to increase its brand presence in key global markets and we’re convinced that the world-class performances of this team will help provide ongoing global exposure.”

According to a team release, GreenEdge and Orica agreed upon a memorandum of understanding that would see the sponsorship extend for three seasons. Orica will back the Aussie outfit’s men’s and women’s teams.

GreenEdge riders will don an updated team kit in Italy and the team will debut a “whole new visual identity” for the Tour de France.

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