Spanish timeshare group Anfi is set to become the co-sponsor of Bjarne Riis’s Saxo Bank team later this year. In an interview with Danish business daily Borsen, Anfi CEO José Luis Trujillo said the goal of his company is to have a more visible presence in Scandinavia, and particularly in Denmark. Consequently, Anfi is set to boost the small deal it already has with the team.
“We have a strategic goal to become more visible in Scandinavia, not least Denmark, as we’d like more Scandinavian timeshare clients,” Trujillo told Borsen. “Anfi already has a four-year contract with Bjarne Riis, and we will boost that after the Vuelta a España. We will become the co-title sponsor and appear on the jersey. I imagine the name of the team will be Saxo Bank-Anfi.”
Contacted by Borsen, Riis Cycling CEO Trey Greenwood did not rule out the possibility of Anfi having a more prominent role within the team. “I cannot confirm that Anfi will appear on the jersey, as we haven’t closed any deals yet in terms of our title sponsorship in 2013. But we are talking with several interested parties and it is no secret that we’ve been very excited about our partnership with Anfi since they came on board,” said Greenwood.
Greenwood added that he hopes that the long-standing deal the team has with Saxo Bank will continue to run. “The partnership with Saxo Bank has in many ways been outstanding since its inception in 2008, and the history of our partnership has shown that we have been able to renew the agreement a few times and with good reason. The value of the sponsorship has increased substantially over time, and I think that both we and Saxo Bank agree that the partnership has benefited both of us. That’s a good starting point for the future.”
According to Borsen, Anfi’s increased involvement is to some extent dependent on Alberto Contador returning to the team when his doping ban ends in early August. All recent indications suggest that the Spaniard will be in Saxo Bank’s colours when he returns to racing at the ENECO Tour, which will be his key preparation race for the Vuelta.
Greenwood confirmed this scenario by saying he is optimistic that Contador will return to the Danish squad. “We have always said that we wanted to resume cooperation with Alberto when he is back and he has always said he wants to return to the team,” said Greenwood.
The team’s current primary backer, Saxo Bank, have also responded positively to the news. “I haven’t heard the rumour that Anfi is interested in being a co-title sponsor, but if it is true, it is encouraging,” said Saxo Bank’s head of communications, Kasper Elbjørn, in a brief statement.
Anfi hosted the Danish team’s pre-season training camp at one of its five resorts in Gran Canaria last January. At that time, Trujillo admitted he had been speaking to Riis and the team’s management about increasing his company’s backing.