Swift Racing launches "Own our team" initiative

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Britain's top professional women's team invites supporters to own a share of their success via an innovative Internet venture. Swift Racing was the UK's first professional women's cycling team in 2006 and has grown every year since, developing and showcasing the best talent in women's international cycling. Our palmares speaks for itself: European Track Champion, National Cyclo-Cross Champion, National U23 Road Race Champion, National Criterium Champion, World Cup Medals.

2008 has been our most successful year to date, but we need your help to continue winning. Like most professional cycling teams, money is limited and we fund our racing season from the goodwill and financial support of our sponsors. It may surprise you to learn that to this point in time, the riders and staff in our team are unpaid and they do what they do for the love of their sport rather than to make big money.

Whereas even footballers in the lower leagues earn tens of thousands of pounds every week, Swift Racing contains cyclists ranked in the top five of the world who ride and race week-in, week-out, for no financial return. With the credit-crunch talked about in the news and in the papers every day, Swift Racing is also feeling the pinch.

Our title sponsor, Swift Motorhomes, to whom we owe a great deal of gratitude and support, have decided that because of the economic climate they cannot sponsor us next year. In simple terms, this means that there is a risk we may not be able to race next season and the team will have to fold. This is the bit where you come in.

In order for Swift Racing to continue next year, we need to raise funds now and we're turning to our fans and supporters who have backed, cheered and urged the team on throughout all our races so far, to help us do this. Just as facebook, YouTube and MySpace are all about user-generated content; we've decided to create a user-generated cycling team.

We're offering supporters the opportunity to donate money to purchase a part of our squad, giving them a share of what will soon become ‘Team You'. Until we find our next title sponsor, we will be called Team You, reflecting your input to your new team.

Here are the ways in which you can help: Donate to Team You: Donations can be made direct to us either online via PayPal, using the link below. This is safe and secure and only takes one minute: info@teamswiftracing.com Alternatively, cheques can be made payable to Global Racing Limited and sent to the following address: 15 Stuart Road, Barton-le-Clay, Beds MK45 4ND, UK

Here is what you'll get for your donation: £1 – £25 | Bronze sponsorship A copy of our quarterly e-newsletter, with behind-the-scenes news, updates, diary entries, rider photos/postcards and race reports direct from the riders. You choose your donation, but for payments of £10 and over we'll also send you a signed team photo/postcard.

£100 | Silver sponsorship All of the above, plus your name on our website and a mention in our quarterly newsletter. You will also have access to a private web forum where you can directly ask the rider and staff questions about them and the team. £1,000 | Gold sponsorship All of the above, plus a Team You cycling jersey (signed by the riders, if you prefer) plus the opportunity to meet the team at a race event and ride in the team car at selected events.

£10,000+ | Corporate sponsorship For £10,000+ we can offer co-sponsorship of the team. Please contact us directly for more information but this will include a place on our team jersey and vehicles along with the other personalized benefits. All sponsorships last for 12 months unless otherwise stated.

Swift Racing really needs your help, so we are urging, begging and encouraging you to assist in any way that you can, whether you can donate £1 or £10,000: every penny counts. 2008 was an amazing year for our team. 2009 could be even better. All we need is your help. Thank you. For all press enquiries about Team You and the campaign, please contact: Stefan Wyman, Team Manager stefan@teamswiftracing.com

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)

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