Dutch supermarket brand Jumbo is set to take over primary sponsorship of the LottoNL-Jumbo squad next season, after penning a five-year contract with the WorldTour team. The deal also includes primary sponsorship of the speed skating team of the same name.
The news comes a day after the Dutch Lottery announced that it would end its main sponsorship of the team, which is owned by the umbrella company Team Oranje, at the end of this year. Team manager Richard Plugge says that the new sponsorship deal will allow the team to develop riders in the long-term.
“It is fantastic that Jumbo puts its shoulders under the team and creates something beautiful with us,” Plugge said. “We want to perform with athletes that we have trained ourselves and that have developed with us. Jumbo offers us the space to build on our solid foundation with a long-term vision and to retain our talents for longer. "
LottoNL-Jumbo is a continuation of the former Rabobank squad, which previously began as Kwantum-Decosol in 1984. The Dutch bank sponsored the team from 1996 but pulled the plug in 2012 following a number of doping scandals involving former riders and staff. Following Rabobank’s departure, the team became Blanco until Belkin stepped in to sponsor the squad mid-way through the 2013 season. Belkin stopped their sponsorship after just 18 months, and the Dutch Lottery, Jumbo and the company BrandLoyalty came in to save the squad and create its own speed skating team.
Despite Lotto taking a step back from the team, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the new deal will see a significant budget increase for the team. The paper says that going forward, the team will have a budget of €15 million and is expected to search for a second title sponsor.
LottoNL-Jumbo has enjoyed five victories so far this season, predominantly thanks to sprinter Dylan Groenewegen – who won last weekend’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – with Danny van Poppel also claiming a stage win in Valencia.
"We are very proud that we can commit ourselves to Team Oranje and the Dutch top sport for the coming years", said Jumbo COO Colette Cloosterman-Van Eerd. "The cycling team already had a great season in 2017, particularly with the winning of two Tour [de France] stages.
"That trend seems to continue, as the team already has five victories in the early season. Last season, the skating was the most successful in World Championships ever with six world titles and won no less than four golds during the Olympic Games. We started as a sponsor four years ago, and over the past year, we have seen an upward trend in many areas. We have a lot of confidence in both teams. Just as with Jumbo, it's about winning and wanting to be the best in DNA."