Jumbo to stop sponsoring cycling, skating teams end next year
Jumbo will withdraw as the main sponsor of the Dutch pro cycling team Jubmo-Visma and the skating team of the same name at the end of 2024. The supermarket chain confirmed this to NOS on Wednesday, the same day Jumbo-Visma, the best cycling team in the world, achieved its 20th victory in 2023.
Jumbo told NOS that the contract was coming to an end. It is not yet clear whether the supermarket chain will invest in any Dutch sports after 2024. “At the moment, we are looking at our positioning,” a spokesperson said. “We also check whether our sponsorship policy is still in line with our vision and ambitions and the needs of our customers.”
According to the broadcaster’s sources, Jumbo already broke the news to the sports teams’ management at the end of last year. Since then, cycling team director Richard Plugge, skating team coach Jac Orie and the Jumbo supervisory directors have been working hard to ensure a smooth transition.
The death of Jumbo top man and sports enthusiast Karel van Eerd in December, combined with his son Frits stepping back from the family business due to money laundering allegations, were the nails in the coffin of the sponsorship deal, sports marketer Bob van Oosterhout said to the broadcaster.
“Karel was a huge cycling and skating enthusiast. Unfortunately, he passed away. And that money laundering case, in which Frits van Eerd is mentioned, is also making a big impact. As a result, the term sports sponsorship has become a bit contaminated with the Jumbo group,” Van Oosterhout said. “Add to that the fact that Jumbo’s market share is under pressure. The sum of this means that the current policymakers are wondering: do we still want to do it this way?”
Jumbo gave the teams a lot of notice that the sponsorship deal was ending, so there is no panic, Plugge said to NOS. “Together, with Jumbo and with Visma, we are looking at how we will approach the future. But we can continue. There are no worries; there is no reason to panic. We have more partners than just Jumbo. We hope that we can continue this for years to come.”