ProTour team launches crowd funding drive to aid sponsor search

UCI ProTour cycling squad Team Belkin has taken the unusual move of turning to crowd funding to drive its search for a new title sponsor.

On Tuesday, American consumer electronics company Belkin announced it would not extend its current deal with the team beyond the 2014 season. Its sponsorship began ahead of last year’s Tour de France, with the firm replacing Rabobank after the Dutch financial services company announced its withdrawal from cycling at the end of 2012.

Belkin is set to assist in the search for a new main sponsor, but the Netherlands-based outfit took to its official website on Friday announcing a crowd-funding initiative inviting fans to contribute €10 ($14) towards financing the team and making it an attractive proposition for potential backers.

A team statement read: “We are confident that we will find a new sponsor in time, but we want to take things into our own hands via crowd funding. With your support we can finance a part of the team and show potential sponsors that we have loyal supporters we can count on. This offers stability, which will make it more likely for sponsors to join our team.”

The crowd-funding initiative will be promoted by the Twitter hashtag #ridethefuture.