Team Saxo Bank-SunGard will become Team Saxo Bank next season. SunGard is discontinuing its sponsorship and the bank will take over as sole name sponsor again. Owner Bjarne Riis said the change will not affect the team's budget.
Saxo Bank has sponsored Riis' team since 2008. Last season they were joined by SunGard, one of the world's leading software and technology services companies. According to the team statement, “Saxo Bank has now decided to exercise an option to step up and become the sole title sponsor. All three parties have agreed that the timing is now right for a smooth transition, where SunGard will discontinue its sponsorship.”
Team owner Bjarne Riis stated: “I am proud that a truly professional company such as Saxo Bank not only continues to see the commercial benefits in sponsoring our teams, but also shows its commitment and faith in our work by stepping up to become the sole title sponsor.”
Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, co-CEOs and co-founders of Saxo Bank, said, “Saxo Bank was offered an option to become the sole title sponsor of Riis Cycling, which was an offer we could not turn down. From the outset, we have sincerely wanted to support Bjarne Riis and his team, and with our continued geographical expansion the sponsorship also makes good sense commercially.”
SunGard first became a sponsor of the team in 2010, moving up to a name sponsor for 2011 and 2012. However, all parties involved have agreed to terminate that agreement early.
“We have had a successful partnership with Riis Cycling over the past two years and we are pleased that we were part of the team's success. The decision to end our sponsorship was a business decision and not related to the team,” said the company's vice president of communications, George Thomas.
Riis thanked the company for its support, saying, “I'm forever grateful for SunGard believing in us and stepping up to sponsoring the team at title level at what was a very difficult moment for the team, but SunGard never hid that this wasn't part of their long-term strategy.”