The Gerolsteiner Brunnen and Team Gerolsteiner simply belong together. And the partnership is going into its ninth year: Since 1998 the company has been active as primary sponsor to the professional cycling team Team Gerolsteiner, which has since then achieved in excess of 200 victories and is to be found amongst the top ten in the world rankings since 2003. The squad has grown from the initial number of 15 riders to 25, and with 38 victories (Date: 17.09.) in the current season 2006, the team once again proves that it is amongst the best teams in the sport.
Sebastian Lang winning the German Time Trial Championship, three stage victories in the Giro d’Italia by Robert Förster and Stefan Schumacher (twice), who also managed to win the Tour of Poland – that is barely the tip of the iceberg of Gerolsteiner's successes in 2006.
Team Gerolsteiner creates a brand philosophy
Due to their regular appearances on the podium and the likable manner in which the riders present themselves in public, Team Gerolsteiner is also very much a favorite amongst German cycling fans. Zest for action, the success of young riders and the potential for the future connected to that – these are things that are associated with the team in the public. There is no question about the effectiveness of the cycling team as an advertising medium. According to a study on advertising perception, a third of perceived communication of Gerolsteiner as a brand results from sponsoring. (Research International, May 2006).
“The team has thus turned into an important pillar of our brand communication”, says Jörg Croseck, head of marketing, personnel and sales of the Gerolsteiner Brunnen. “The young riders especially belong to a new cycling generation: free of doping allegations and already claiming a regular slot in international media coverage. Due to the cycling team's success, the brand Gerolsteiner is effectively strengthened in the image dimensions “dynamics” and “performance”. The emotions experienced in the cycling sport provide the impetus that tips the scales toward the Gerolsteiner brand during the purchase decision.” That is why the Gerolsteiner Brunnen renewed its sponsoring commitment to Team Gerolsteiner in 2004, extending it by four years till the end of 2008.
National commitment: Gerolsteiner is sponsor of the Deutschland Tour
Besides its own professional team, the Gerolsteiner Brunnen has as co-sponsor been supporting the Tour of Germany since 2006, the most important German stage race – initially for three years.
Through this commitment Gerolsteiner is strategically expanding cycling sport as a communication field. “Since its rebirth in 1999, the Deutschland Tour has, similar to Team Gerolsteiner, gone through a remarkable development. Through our commitment as sponsor and official soft drink of the Deutschland Tour we are consistently expanding our presence in the cycling sport”, explains Jörg Croseck.
Cycling sport to be participated in - the Gerolsteiner TOUR-Festival
In order to fully utilize the entire bandwidth of the “fascinating cycling sport” in brand communication, Gerolsteiner has been expanding its successful sponsoring commitment from professional sports to popular sports since 2005. In May 2006 the premiere of a new event was celebrated: During the first Gerolsteiner-TOUR-Festival all attention in Gerolstein was focused on the subject of race cycling. Besides an extensive trade show, with exhibitors from the cycling industry and a colorful supporting program, numerous single races took place. Ambitious riders proved their fitness in the cycling marathon, the time trial with mountain arrival, team time trial or sprint races. The Gerolsteiner Brunnen will be supporting the event as title sponsor at least until 2008.
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