Rabobank has announced that it will end all of its professional sports sponsorship deals after next season. Its current deals with the Dutch cycling union (KNWU), Rabo Development Team and Rabo-Liv women’s team will be allowed to expire at the end of 2016.
The Dutch bank have been involved in cycling sponsorship since 1996, but pulled out of men’s professional cycling in 2012 after the publication of USADA’s report into Lance Armstrong and US Postal Service’s doping regime.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
A Rabobank press release said: “Both the unions and the cycling teams can continue to count on Rabobank’s committed support until the end of 2016.”
The press release continued: “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.”
Huib Kloosterhuis, director of the KNWU, said: “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.”
Three-time world champion Marianne Vos said: “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.”
Rabobank also announced this week that it plans to cut 9,000 jobs – almost one-fifth of its workforce – by 2018 as it attempts to boost profits.