Rabobank to focus on local sponsoring

Rabobank will change the accent of its sports sponsorship with effect from 2017 to a more local focus. ‘We want to get nearby our customers, in a literal sense,’ says Heleen Crielaard, who has responsibility for sponsoring at Rabobank. The change in focus means that expiring agreements with the KNWU, KNHS, the Rabo Development Team and the RaboLiv women’s team will not be extended. Both the unions and the cycling teams can continue to count on Rabobank’s committed support until the end of 2016. This timely announcement by Rabobank gives the unions and the teams the opportunity to look for new partners. The bank is consulting with the KNHB and NOC*NSF regarding future sports sponsorship.

Cycling
Rabobank has been an active sponsor of cycling since 1996, supporting both the top of the sport and its grass roots. This has contributed to the current solid position of cycling, with a strong potential for medals in 2016. In terms of visibility, Rabobank already took a step back in its support of the national teams on the road in 2012. The cooperation between the KNWU and Rabobank will come to an end at the end of 2016.
 
Huib Kloosterhuis, director KNWU: ‘Rabobank has been a steadfast partner of cycling for 20 years. The current strong position of the sport of cycling is partly due to Rabobank’s long-term support. Nonetheless, we regret that this partnership is coming to an end.’
 
RaboLiv
Rabobank has been supporting the RaboLiv women’s cycling team for the past 4 years. The team is professional and successful, and features a large number of talented young riders. Rabobank has every confidence that the team will once again deliver good results in 2016. This will provide a good basis for finding new partners. Rabobank is working in consultation with the women’s team on continuity after 2016.
 
Marianne Vos: ‘We have made every effort in recent years to make our team successful and put women’s cycling on the map. We will continue to try 100% in 2016, in which the sporting highlight will be the Olympic Games in Rio. I want to thank Rabobank for all the opportunities it has given the team, our young riders and to me personally.’ 
 
Equestrianism
Rabobank has always been a partner in the equestrian sport and has been a principal sponsor since the foundation of the KNHS. The Rabo Talent Plan has amply proved its worth, featuring an excellent connection between grass roots sport, youth development and the sport at senior level. With the recent huge successes at the World Championships in Caen and the European Championships in Aachen and the prospects of continuing good performances in 2016, equestrianism is currently at a high level. In consultation with the KNHS, Rabobank is searching for solutions for the continuity of the Rabo Talent Plan after 2016.
 
John Bierling, director of the KNHS: ‘More than half the riders from the medal-winning teams in the Olympic disciplines at the World Championship and the European Championship seniors in 2014 and 2015 come from the Rabo Talent Team. This is unprecedented and we are immensely proud of this achievement. Our equestrian sport grew in 2015 into one of our best medal chances at the Games in Rio. But, perhaps even more importantly: together with Rabobank we have been able to help make the dreams of many people come true, also at the local level. We think that equestrian sport is the finest sport in the Netherlands and we face the future with great confidence. We share this passion with one million horse lovers.’
 
Heleen Crielaard, Manager of Sponsoring at Rabobank: ‘Cycling and equestrianism have always been close to Rabobank’s heart, and they will continue to be in future. We will continue to support them on their way to the Olympic Games in Rio. Hopefully, a sporting high point at the Games in 2016 will mark the end of a period in which Rabobank has enthusiastically associated its name with cycling and equitation.’

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Rene Loman

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