Burger King to sponsor men's professional team in 2022
The fast-food giant's Italian CEO was convinced after spending a day with the squad at this year's Giro d'Italia
Sponsors in cycling come and go, but for every concrete manufacturer, there is sometimes a universally recognisable brand name that pops up and causes a number of dopamine explosions to go off in our tiny capitalist minds.
While the likes of Deceuninck - Quick-Step sport Lidl logos on their shoulders to subversively coerce us into changing our grocery shopping habits, fast-food chain Burger King is now the latest to have a go at plastering their emblem over a bunch of skinny men riding bicycles at improbably high speeds.
The team that will be resplendent in the red text and burger bun iconography for 2022 is Italian ProTour team EOLO-Kometa.
The connection? Alessandro Lazzaroni, the CEO of Burger King Italia, accompanied the team at their debut Giro d'Italia earlier this year where the fledgling outfit won the Monte Zoncolan stage courtest of Lorenzo Fortunato.
"From next year Burger King Italia will be with us: seeing such an important company get on board our team and cycling in general makes us all very happy," general manager Ivan Basso told La Gazzetta dello Sport, the retired pro teaming up with Alberto Contador to run the team.
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Basso reveals the team's name will remain as EOLO-Kometa, dreams of commentators name-checking the burger company throughout some of the biggest races on the calendar now lying in tatters on the floor, with Burger King only taking up a space on the kit for 2022.
"It will still be called Eolo-Kometa," Basso confirmed. "While the new sponsor will occupy a space on the jersey.
“I like to keep my feet on the ground," the Italian continued, talking about the team's future, having only been founded in 2018. "We don't have to make fancy flights, we need to grow and we will do it only thanks to our professionalism, results and seriousness.
"If we are able to demonstrate all this, the sponsors will remain and we will be able to grow. We are slowly doing it: after three years of Continental [level] we have finished first out of the Professionals with satisfactory results."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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