BigMat has decided not to renew its sponsorship deal with the FDJ team for next season. The French building materials distributor came on board as sub-sponsor at the beginning of 2012 after having initially entered into talks with the Garmin team.
A Française des Jeux spokesman told L’Équipe that BigMat’s decision was not linked to the sport’s much-publicised doping problems but was due to the global economic crisis.
“This contract was signed with BigMat International and not with BigMat France, and it wasn’t able to be renewed due to the current economic situation of its foreign subsidiaries,” said Frédéric Riou. “The recent scandals in cycling have nothing to do with this decision.”
Française des Jeux, the French national lottery, agreed a new four-year deal with Marc Madiot’s team at the end of 2011, and Riou said that BigMat’s withdrawal would not affect the team’s future.
“In concrete terms, this won’t have any effect on the cycling team, which will continue next season under the sole name of FDJ, while remaining open to finding another co-sponsor for 2014,” Riou said.
The BigMat name is not leaving cycling completely, however. The French branch of the company’s sponsorship of BigMat-Auber 93 will continue until the end of 2013.