Team Saxo Bank has signed US-based SunGard as a new sponsor for the team this year. The information technology firm will not serve as name or co-sponsor, but the news gives some much needed morale support to the team after Saxo Bank announced they would terminate their support at the end of 2010.
SunGard is one of the largest privately owned companies in the US, with annual revenue exceeding $5 billion. According to its web site, it “provides software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education and the public sector. SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software.”
“This agreement sends a very strong signal, and it could not come at a better time,” team manager Trey Greenwood told sporten.dk. “It is a real scoop for our team.”
While the amount of the sponsorship was not announced, it was speculated to be anywhere from one million dollars to “several million dollars”. According to Greenwood, “it is not enough to be a co-sponsor, but it is big enough to change some things for us.”
Team owner Bjarne Riis did not dismiss the notion that the sponsorship might be expanded in 2011. “It is a great sponsor who wants to be here. Whether it could ultimately become something more remains to be seen. The important thing is we get them on board and we now show them what we have to offer, " Riis told sporten.dk.
Greenwood added, “Compared to the exposure you get as our sponsor, you will certainly get back more than you paid for.”
That is exactly what the company is hoping for. “We see a great potential to improve SunGard's brand awareness and visibility as a global IT business by sponsoring Team Saxo Bank. We are pleased that SunGard now stands stand side by side with one of professional cycling's leaders,” according to a statement issued by Brian Robins, SunGard's director of marketing.
The agreement provides the team with more than moral support, though. It “means that we can pass this year on the same or slightly higher level than last year. And we can keep a level we can be happy with and start with some of the steps we'd like.”