Report: Alpecin announced as new sponsor for Giant-Shimano – German shampoo brand commits to four-year deal

Marcel Kittel, pro cyclist with caffeinated hair, coming in the 2015 racing season

Originally shared by +PRO CYCLING WORLDTOUR

Report: Alpecin announced as new sponsor for Giant-Shimano – German shampoo brand commits to four-year deal

According to a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Giant-Shimano has secured a four-year sponsorship deal with the German cosmetics and shampoo company Alpecin. From 2015 the WorldTour outfit will be known as Team Giant-Alpecin with the women's team to be known as Liv-Plantur.
There is a strong possibility that the teams' registration will be transferred from the Netherlands to German. However Iwan Spekenbrink and Shimano are expected to continue to own the team and the WorldTour licence.
The arrival of a major German sponsor is a sign of growing interest in professional cycling in Germany after the Jan Ullrich, Team Telekom and wider doping scandals of the last decade. De Telegraaf also reported that the German television network ARD could resume live coverage of the Tour de France in part due to the success of the team’s sprinter Marcel Kittel who has won eight stages in the last two editions of the French Grand Tour. The organisers of the Tour, ASO, have also been approached about a German Grand Départ within the next four years, with Berlin the most likely location.
Alpecin is manufacturer of a boutique shampoo which contains caffeine to reportedly stimulate hair growth at the roots and have annual turnover of over EUR 200 million. Alpecin's products are available in more than forty countries and is said to be looking to expand its presence in Asia.
The company has been involved with cycling previously having been associated with Jan Ullrich while its slogan for its product was 'Doping for the hair'. However the choice of sponsoring the Giant team was in part decided by the strict anti-doping policy enforced by team manager Iwan Spekenbrink.
The announcement of a new long term sponsor for the team ends a period of financial instability that begun with the announcement that Argos was withdrawing its sponsorship of the team at the end of 2013. An American charity was said to be ready to commit to the team before pulling the plug. Bike sponsor Giant became the principal backer for 2014, helping to save the team.
According to De Telegraaf, Spekenbrink was also in talks with multi-national company 3M concerning sponsorship. 3M has sponsored a small Belgian Continental team for two years and is apparently interested in increasing its involvement in the sport.


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