GreenEdge has announced they have come to a three-year sponsorship arrangement with Orica, an Australian multi-national company which provides chemicals and explosives for the mining industry. The Australian-based outfit will now be known as Orica GreenEdge with the women's team also being re-named. Orica's investment in the team remains confidential.
"We've all worked hard on and off the bike," GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews late yesterday. "We've had a great start, so far, to the season as far as results go and that's been noted and the discussions that we've been having, it has all come together just at the right time."
GreenEdge has enjoyed a dream start to their debut WorldTour season, claiming overall victories at the Tour Down Under (Simon Gerrans), Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Michael Albasini), Circuit Cycliste Sarthe (Luke Durbridge) as well as at Milan-San Remo via Gerrans.
Bannan admitted that the team's success had certainly played a significant role in securing the sponsorship.
"Being in the WorldTour being able to compete in events such as the Giro and the Tour de France which has a lot of drawing power media-wise, I reckon it's been a combination of the [results and] presentation that we've been able to put together," he said from Italy. "You have your goals and ambitions before the season starts but to be able to pull off a win such as Milan-San Remo, it certainly helps our cause, that's for sure."
Orica have made headlines for all the wrong reasons of late and will be hoping that the partnership brings much-needed good press. Last year, a number of chemical leaks at both their Newcastle, Port Kembla and Botany plants in New South Wales. Just this week, the company was criticised for storing ammonium nitrate in a ship anchored off the coast of Newcastle which came under the attention of the Maritime Union of Australia for being "dangerously sub-standard".
"The sponsor is really keen on the co-operation between GreenEdge," said Bannan. "One of the things that attracted the sponsor to us was the name GreenEdge and what we stand for."
The team will sport a makeshift jersey design for the Giro d'Italia which starts this weekend, featuring the Orica logo. A different kit will be worn from the Tour de France onwards.
"This is a rare and fantastic opportunity to secure the founding co-naming sponsorship with this ground-breaking sporting venture. GreenEdge is the first Australian team at this level and it offers Orica a powerful sports marketing platform, perfectly aligned with our values and drivers," said Ian Smith, Managing Director and CEO of Orica in a team statement.
"Cycling is dynamic, competitive and truly appeals to a global audience. We have a lot in common with the team; we’re both multi-national organisations with an Australian DNA, and we share mutual aspirations driven by a focus on innovation and team work. This sponsorship forms one of the strategic platforms for Orica to increase its brand presence in key global markets and we’re convinced that the world-class performances of this team will help provide ongoing global exposure."