Vacansoleil DCM’s manager admits chances of finding a replacement sponsor are dwindling
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Vacansoleil DCM’s manager admits chances of finding a replacement sponsor are dwindling

by VeloNation Press at 11:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Team would consider becoming a smaller outfit if necessary but riders are free to look elsewhere

Johnny HoogerlandHaving faced the bombshell that not one but both of its title sponsors will not continue with the team after the end of this season, the general manager of the Vacansoleil DCM setup has admitted that he is losing hope that new backers will be secured in time to remain in the WorldTour.

“We continue to work very hard to find a title backer, there is hope if we can find a sponsor by September 1st,” said Daan Luijkx, according to Cyclingonline.nl. However he has admitted that the possibilities are small and has told the riders and others working on the team that they are free to look for alternative employers.

Luijkx added that if the required budget is not secured, that the team would consider dropping down a level until such time that it could try to step up again. “In 2009 we built a top team from a youth formation and it is something that I would do again,” he said.

On May 13th the Dutch WorldTour team got the first bit of bad news when DCM announced that it wouldn’t continue past the end of this season. It explained at the time that it had never planned a long term involvement, and that it felt that it had achieved its stated goals in its time on board.

Two days later Vacansoleil followed suit with a similar announcement. It pointed out that one of the key geographical areas it targets is not giving the sport enough coverage and thus the desired exposure is not being fulfilled.

“Currently only one (but a very important one) market is behind target, this being the German market,” Vacansoleil said in a statement then. “Cycling is the second most popular sport in Germany. Despite this, the great reluctance of the biggest players in the German media to cover cycling in a meaningful way has not rewarded the efforts of willing teams and their sponsors in recent years.

“This reluctance seems to continue for the time being. Now that the realisation of our goals regarding brand exposure is a fact, Vacansoleil intends to start the next stage of our planned follow up strategy. In this, TV will be used as the most important communication platform.”

Unfortunately, it sees the best path to achieve that as being in an avenue other than through cycling.

Since then Luijkx has been searching for new backers, while the riders have been trying to clock up success to make his task easier. Kenny Van Hummel won a stage last week in the Arctic Tour of Norway and finished second overall, while Grega Bole won stage two of the Tour de l’Ain.

However, while the former Rabobank/Blanco team was able to bring Belkin on board as a new sponsor, Vacansoleil DCM has, until now, been unsuccessful in its own bid to do likewise. Time is running out and, as Luijkx admits, it doesn’t look good.

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