The American multinational brand 3M is in talks with Giant-Shimano to become the team's new title sponsor, the Dutch Telegraaf newspaper reports. However 3M’s marketing director Ronald Faas has said it is also talking to other teams as it aims to take a title sponsor role with an international team.
Giant had already assured it will continue to support Iwan Spekenbrink's team. “There will be a team in 2015,” Giant’s marketing director Tom Davies said a few weeks ago. However Giant never planned to be the team’s title sponsor. It stepped up in January after an unknown American charity organization withdrew its initial sponsorship offer causing the team to almost fold.
Iwan Spekenbrink refused to confirm that he is in talks with 3M, telling the Telegraaf: “We have several options at the moment but won’t respond to speculations as long as nothing is signed.”
3M is already involved in professional cycling. It started the 3M continental team in 2013 which is registered in Belgium and currently has a roster of 20 riders.
“When we started we already said we had the ambition to be on the WorldTour-level within three to five years,” Faas said. “Now we have the possibility to speed up this process. But we are also talking to other teams and haven’t made a decision yet. We are looking for an international image in a team.”
The American company said it wants to become title sponsor, and not a second or third sponsor. “We have no problems with co-sponsors,” Faas said, “but it must be clear that the team name is Team 3M.”
Giant-Shimano already won 29 races in 2014 with its men's team, including three Tour de France stages and two stages at the Giro d'Italia with Marcel Kittel, while John Degenkolb won Gent-Wevelgem. The Giant-Shimano women's team has won taken 15 victories, mostly by its sprinter Kirsten Wild.
On Monday it was reported that the Dutch Lotto will become Team Belkin's new title sponsor in 2015. The Dutch team loses Belkin after this season after the American company used a clause in the contract not to continue until the initially agreed 2015 season.