- Year of establishment
- Sponsor since
Luc Thys, Group Director Marketing and R&D Soudal
How long Soudal has been a partner of Lotto Soudal?
“We became name sponsor in 2015, after some nice experiences where Soudal was visible on the bib shorts. Then, we immediately made a long-term commitment of six years. That is quite unusual within the world of cycling and the press also watched it with big eyes. But this is what characterizes Soudal: we decide quickly, then roll up our sleeves and go for it. Meanwhile, we extended the original contract – which ran till 2020 – until 2022. Since mid-2019, we have significantly increased our sponsorship to the same level as Lotto.”
Why is cycling, and especially Lotto Soudal, important for Soudal?
“We have offices in 69 countries and sell our products in 140 countries worldwide. During a normal year (in 2020, the racing calendar looked a little different of course), our three teams race in 22 to 23 of these countries. The Tour de France alone gets media coverage in 190 countries! This means an extraordinary amount of exposure in the countries that are important to us. This is something we can reach through little or no other channels. This makes Lotto Soudal thus the ideal platform to build worldwide brand awareness and brand image. On top of that, cycling does not exclude any target groups. The craftsman in the building industry, the architect as well as the do-it-yourself client can be reached by the cycling sport.”
Are the expectations being fulfilled?
“Not every year is a “Grand Cru”, but we are looking at the long term and by doing this, we are achieving an above-average result relative to the budget of our team.”
What makes Lotto Soudal unique for you?
“The fact that Lotto Soudal, just like Soudal, is a stable Belgian export product that is successful far beyond our national borders. Furthermore, we recognise a lot of values that are close to the heart of the people of ‘De Kempen’, such as hard work, getting up early and persevering. And the desire to win! That is why Soudal has been growing with ‘double-digit’ numbers on average for over 50 years. And we want to continue to express this ambition via the team.”
Up to now, which performances or events have brought you the most joy?
“The victories with the biggest international impact, with of course the twelve stage wins at the Tour de France that we could celebrate during our six years as main sponsor. Personally, I mainly think about the three sprint victories on the Champs Elysées (2x Greipel and 1x Ewan), which we experienced live in Paris. Those are definitely some unforgettable memories! But more important is that on the Champs Elysées, 22 teams participate, but only one takes the proverbial half of the victories in what is called the unofficial sprint World Championships. Something which causes an extraordinary amount of exposure, worldwide!”