Barloworld Extends Team Sponsorship
After a 2008 season where Team Barloworld participated in the most important international pro cycling events - including the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, and most of the famous one-day races - the South African multinational company Barloworld today announced that they have decided to extend their sponsorship of Team Barloworld for 2009.
Chris Fisher, Head of Corporate Marketing at Barloworld said "The Team Barloworld sponsorship has been both successful and popular. As a sponsorship it has set all sorts of records and won numerous international awards. The ultimate objective has always been to make Barloworld a recognized name in our target market and ensure all our business units and employees have one Team they support. In the last two years alone Barloworld achieved an estimated media impact of R2.5 billion, excluding international television coverage. The sponsorship afforded Barloworld international partnership opportunities as well as global branding partnerships on kit, cars and merchandise. In excess of 500 customers and employees have been hosted at the Tour de France alone. The sponsorship has united Barloworld employees and attracted remarkable international interest and support."
Fisher added that "Barloworld has enjoyed incredible levels of support from the public for the sponsorship. Our experience - continued Fisher - has been that today's cycling fan supports a team that touches their heart or one that is the underdog or the little guy. Team Barloworld, due to their wildcard status in the Tour de France, and their smaller budget than the big teams, has acquired the label "The little team that knew they could," which has led to the emotional support not only of South Africans but a legion of international fans."
The riders won 22 races in ten different countries in 2008 - with Enrico Gasparotto as leader of the UCI Europe Tour and Team Barloworld second in the team rankings.
Barloworld has also been the team that created a stepping stone for many South Africans to take the step up from local stardom and onto the international stage. Team Barloworld will continue to offer Africa's top riders an opportunity to compete internationally against the world's very best pro cyclists.
According to team Barloworld the management and riders remain largely unchanged for 2009. The 2009 Team Barloworld roster so far includes Robert Hunter, Maurizio Soler, John Lee Augustyn, Paolo Longo Borghini, Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas, Christopher Froome, and Daryl Impey. Enrico Gasparotto is leaving the team.
The team plans to announce its complete rider roster and 2009 event schedule within the next few days.