Belkin strike it lucky with Dutch lottery sponsorship

Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:53am EDT
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A sponsorship deal with the Dutch national lottery operator guaranteed the Belkin cycling team's future on Wednesday.

The Lotto company will become the main sponsor of both the professional cycling team and a Dutch speed skating squad.

They will work closely together.

"This unique concept brings Holland's biggest high endurance sports together," said Richard Plugge, managing director of the Belkin team, hailing an agreement that will take effect in 2015 for an initial two years.

Details of the new team name, riders, colors and budget will be decided during the next few months.

Belkin placed second in the team classification for the Tour de France on Sunday, but they have had a difficult time commercially in recent years.

Long-standing sponsor Rabobank pulled out in 2012 after cycling was hit by a series of doping scandals.

Californian consumer electronics group Belkin ends its backing this year after coming on board in mid-2013.

Brand Loyalty, a company that runs customer loyalty schemes for retailers, already sponsors the speed skating team and will be the second main backer of the combined group.   Continued...

Riders of the Dutch cycling team Belkin wear black armbands and observe a minute of silence before departing on the 197.5km 13th stage of the Tour de France cycle race between Saint Etienne and Chamrousse, July 18, 2014.   REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier