New jersey, or perhaps new title sponsor, for Leopard-Trek team?
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Friday, February 25, 2011

New jersey, or perhaps new title sponsor, for Leopard-Trek team?

by Shane Stokes at 6:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Launch at Enovos headquarters, but company denies it's the main backer

Fabian CancellaraAlthough the team was officially launched back in early January, unveiling the team kit there, the Leopard-Trek team has today issued an invitation for media to attend another event on Tuesday in Luxembourg.

“At this occasion, Brian Nygaard, General Manager of Leopard Trek, Fränk Schleck and Andy Schleck will present the official jersey of the team,” it stated in a press release. It added that general manager Brian Nygaard plus the Schleck brothers will speak about the squad.

The inference that the team kit could change will prompt speculation that a title sponsor could have been found. While the team has Trek as a secondary backer plus many other partners and suppliers, the Leopard title is regarded as a holding slot until a major company comes on board. This is reinforced by the large amount of blank space on the jersey (pictured right), which – visually at least – appears to be waiting for a major logo.

Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom was tipped last autumn to be signing up as the chief sponsor, but the deal ultimately did not materialise. The team is currently being backed by the entrepreneur Flavio Becca.

The jersey presentation will take place at the headquarters of Enovos. The energy company is currently one of many smaller sponsors of the team, but l’Essentiel claimed yesterday that it would step up and become the main backer.

It stated that it had originally agreed to put in 800,000 euro, but that this amount had been increased to between four and five million per annum in order to take over the title sponsorship for four years. The article added that this lead to dissatisfaction within the company as wage cuts are currently taking place.

The company quickly moved to deny this yesterday by the company, refuting the information in a press release.

“We confirm that Enovos is committed to supporting the new international team of professional riders of Luxembourg, but we stress that this a contract for a period of three years and not four years as stated in the article,” it said.

“Moreover, Enovos is amongst the partners of the team but doesn’t intend to become the main partner.” It added that its financial contribution was also less than suggested by l’Essentiel.

It remains to be seen if there is indeed a new title sponsor, and who that could be.

The Luxembourg ProTeam features some of the biggest stars in the sport, including double Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck, his brother Frank, and multiple world time trial champion and Classics winner Fabian Cancellara.


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