Jumbo-Visma will undergo a rebranding in 2024, taking on the new name of Visma – Lease a Bike. This change comes as Lease a Bike, a cycling lease programme for businesses, secures its position as the team’s second title sponsor. Lease a Bike is a part of Pon, a Dutch global bike manufacturer, which has in its portfolio major brands such as Cannondale, Gazelle, and Cervélo. The latter is particularly important as the marque of bikes the yellow and black team race on.
Anne-Grethe Thomle Karlsen, Director of Content and Sponsorship at the Visma Group, had earlier revealed to WielerFlits that the company intends to maintain a long-term relationship with the cycling team. According to some inside sources, the team’s budget for 2024 is speculated to be between 25 and 30 million euros, although the public figure is undoubtedly less than the actual figure. This comes amid questions concerning the financial future of the team and its partnership with BetCity, as sports sponsorships by online gambling companies will only be permitted until 1 July 2025 in the Netherlands.
On the matter of finances, Team Manager Richard Plugge had earlier announced the need for a ‘next step’ in terms of budget, acknowledging the difficulties in finding a multinational sponsor willing to invest 15 to 25 million euros annually. This follows the withdrawal of Jumbo supermarkets as a sponsor and the collapse of talks around Amazon stepping in as a new title sponsor. There were rumours of a partnership with Amazon, which would have been worth a maximum of 8 million euros, but the deal fell through at the last moment.
Moreover, negotiations for a potential merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal Quick-Step hit a roadblock two weeks ago. The merger discussions were aiming at a budget surpassing 40 million euros, as a counter to increasing budgets from Middle Eastern teams and the British outfit INEOS Grenadiers, funded by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
Pon has been insistent on respecting an indefinite contract term and has introduced Lease a Bike as a secondary sponsor. It remains unclear whether Visma and Lease a Bike would step back if a larger sponsor comes into play. For now it looks like the future of the team of Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert is secure.