Garmin-Barracuda open to additional sponsorship
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Garmin-Barracuda open to additional sponsorship

by Shane Stokes at 3:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team states that new backer wouldn’t have saved women’s team

Garmin BarracudaThe new addition of Barracuda Networks as a secondary title sponsor for the Garmin squad undoubtedly adds some financial stability to the team, but the squad has indicated that it will continue to seek additional sponsors going forward.

Contacted by VeloNation after yesterday’s announcement that the computer company was coming on board, the UCI ProTeam has said that the arrangement doesn’t mean that the budget search is completed.

“The team will continue to look for additional sponsors,” confirmed a team spokesperson. “The partnership with Barracuda Networks is long-term and the company will also allow Slipstream Sports to continue to pursue other co-title sponsor opportunities.”

The Californian company comes in a couple of months after team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said that BigMat had essentially reneged on a commitment to back the squad. The French company had been in talks with the team and, according to Vaughters, had made a clear indication that it wanted to be a co-sponsor.

However it subsequently agreed terms with the French FDJ squad and will back it instead. Vaughters has suggested that BigMat may be liable to legal action as a result.

Barracuda is now on board and will fill the slot that BigMat would have occupied on the jersey and in the team name. Questioned about the agreed duration of the new deal, the team indicated simply that it was viewed as a ‘long-term partnership.’

One question that many asked was if the new agreement could have saved the previous Garmin-Cervélo women’s team. BigMat’s withdrawal was blamed as being the reason why the squad essentially crumbled, with a shortfall in budget forcing the riders to move instead to a number of other setups. Competitors such as 2010 world time trial champion Emma Pooley, British champion Lizzie Armitstead and former worlds medallist Noemi Cantele will all race elsewhere this season.

While the timing was too late anyway to have kept the team in place, the question is an interesting one.

According to the team, though, the deal would not have prevented the winding-up of the squad. “While we can’t disclose financial details and we are very happy to have such a great new partner on board, we can say that no, this would not have been the case,” stated a Garmin-Barracuda spokesperson.

However, even if the deal is apparently less than that which would have been secured had the BigMat arrangement gone through, the new signing is clearly important to the team.

“They are a fantastic partner and it’s great to see companies like this getting involved in cycling,” it stated.

The US ProTeam’s new kit will get its first outing on Sunday in the Down Under Classic in Adelaide. The picked riders will then line out in the Santos Tour Down Under on Tuesday.

It won the event last year with Cameron Meyer. He has since moved to GreenEdge, but the 2012 selection for the race could also prove to be a successful one.


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