The Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU), the sport’s governing body in the country, has named online gambling operator Unibet as its new main sponsor.
The four-year agreement will commence on January 1, 2017 and will run until the end of the 2020 cycling season. The KNWU confirmed that the deal would be worth €7m ($7.6m) in total.
From 2017 onwards, Unibet’s branding will appear on the Dutch national team’s jerseys at major championships. The company will extend its backing to the Netherlands’ numerous professional and amateur cycling clubs.
In addition, the KNWU will develop a programme that will promote online gambling in a safe and secure manner.
The value and duration of the deal is subject to Unibet securing an online gaming licence in the Netherlands, with the country widely expected to legalise such gambling activities before the end of the year.
“I hope that politicians, when considering the remote gambling bill, take the interests of Dutch sport to the fullest in its deliberations,” KNWU chairman Marcel Wintels said. “We should not pass up this unique opportunity for the sport.”
Anne-Jaap Snijders, director of Unibet in Western Europe, added: “Unibet is proud of this sponsorship agreement with the KNWU, which shows that we are fully committed to investment in grassroots through to top-level cycling when the road to operate under a licence in the Netherlands opens.”