US-based Continental Kelly Benefit Strategies announced the addition of OptumHealth as a co-title sponsor in 2011. The newly named Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth Pro Cycling will unite at a meet-and-great camp this week in Winter Park, Colorado.
“We are unabashedly proud, vocal proponents of active, healthy lifestyles,” said Tom McEnery, chief marketing officer for OptumHealth. “As co-sponsor of one of the country’s top cycling teams, we can create greater visibility and awareness about the importance of fitness, health and well-being.”
“Professional cycling in the United States continues to grow as a major spectator sport and serves as a great way to reach health-conscious consumers,” he added. “This particular partnership provides a highly visible and mission-consistent opportunity to both advance our message and drive awareness of our products and services.”
OptumHealth is one of the nation’s largest health and wellness business and is a UnitedHealth Group company, according to a team press release. The team’s stake holders, including representatives from OptumHealth, united at an inaugural sponsor summit held at corporate headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland, following last year’s season. The event allowed sponsors to discuss how to best plan for the up coming season and strategize long term goals.
“We like to think of ourselves as more than just a cycling team, our sponsors are more like partners with us,” said Charles Aaron from the team’s management company, Circuit Global Sports Management. “We all share a common interest and goal and we wanted to bring them together to brainstorm ways to help them get the most out of their strategic sports sponsorship.”
“We introduced the upper management of our new co-title sponsor,” Aaron said. “This was our first year pulling everyone together from team sponsors, their marketing and press people our team staff and sports management group together.”
The topics of discussion included a review of the previous year’s results and an overview of the new season in 2011. Carney provided the audience with background knowledge of each rider along with details of the upcoming race schedule and overall team goals.
“We spent a great deal of time discussing how sponsors can work together to make the most out of their investment,” Aaron said. “This included, cross promotional, media and activation strategies for 2011.”
Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.
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