Online gambling site Unibet new Dutch cycling sponsor

KNWU's new shirt with new sponsor's Unibet's logo (Photo: KNWU/Facebook). (KNWU's new shirt with new sponsor's Unibet's logo (Photo: KNWU/Facebook))

Online gambling website Unibet was named the new main sponsor of the Netherlands national cycling association KNWU. The company’s six green dot logo, without its name, has prime real estate on the association’s new cycling shirt concept, wedged in between the KNWU logo and the flag of the Netherlands.

The new deal kicks off in 2017, KNWU announced on Wednesday. The four-year agreement is worth seven million euros.

Unibet replaces Lotto as the head sponsor. Lotto had also signed on to rescue Team Belkin in 2014.

Now, the KNWU was looking for a sponsorship arrangement that could complement money provided by both the national government with a share in revenue from the new gambling legislation, when it comes into effect, broadcaster NOS reported.

The logo does not use the name “Unibet” for now, because the company is not yet a participant in the Dutch gambling market. “Unibet is the new sponsor of everything, associations and also top-level sports,” KNWU chair Marcel Wintels said, downplaying any controversy surrounding the new sponsor decision.

“Funding for sports is a complicated field of play. Sports must make the leap into the future; we cannot only continue with the current partners,” Wintels said, according to coverage of his press conference.

Back in December, Rabobank said it was ending its sponsorship of the cycling association after 20 years.