Posted by Editoress on 11/16/20
Canadian-based multinational Premier Tech will become the title co-sponsor of the Astana Pro Team, with the WorldTour team to be renamed Astana-Premier Tech for the 2021 season. The company has sponsored the team since 2017. The new program will include a youth cycling program in both Kazakhstan and Canada.
2020 Team Presentation
One Canadian rides for the team - Hugo Houle, who has been with Astana for the past three seasons and is signed through 2022. Steve Bauer will be joining the team as a directeur sportif from the now defunct CCC team.
Steve Bauer said to us: "It is great news that the Canadian company Premier Tech is stepping up its sponsorship contribution with the newly branded Astana-Premier Tech. The opportunity to continue a career as sport director on the World Tour with Astana-Premier Tech is exciting and I look forward to contribute my best efforts to support the groups sporting goals."
"It will be nice to meet an entirely new group of professional management, riders and staff. It have been eight years since I worked with Hugo Houle and Cycle Sport Management. I [have] watched Hugo over the years and especially at this year's TDF in particular Hugo rode impressively. It will be great to reunite on the World Tour."
The Canadian company was founded in 1923 as a supplier of peat moss, and is now an international leader in four core industries: sustainable solutions for professional growers and gardeners, automated systems for packaging and material handling, systems and technologies to treat and recycle water and digital solutions to increase manufacturing efficiencies. With its headquarters located in Canada and offices and manufacturing plants in some 27 countries, Premier Tech wants to connect its worldwide network of partners and customers through this co-sponsorship and partnership with Kazakhstan. Annual revenue for the company is over $750 million US / $1 billion Can.
"For Premier Tech, this announcement is the culmination of a partnership that began in 2017,"says Jean Bélanger, president and chief executive officer of Premier Tech, "one that is fuelled by a long-standing passion for cycling. The Astana - Premier Tech team perfectly captures the essence of our company and the spirit that drives this partnership, which is to constantly push the limits to redefine the standards and reach new heights, while surrounding ourselves with driven, talented people in order to succeed. Premier Tech's motivation to constantly improve is greatly inspired by its team members, but also by those who have shaped history. That's why Premier Tech is now associating its name with the Astana - Premier Tech team, one of the best cycling teams in the world. A team with many great victories to its name, and with whom Premier Tech shares the same passions: excellence and teamwork. This is what makes this partnership so strong and unique. That's what makes it so meaningful."
It is no secret that the Astana team has had some funding issues in the past few years, with rider salaries being delayed as the team waited on promised funding from government-connected Kazakhstani companies to be delivered. The team alluded to the need for financial support in their statement regarding the partnership with Premier Tech:
"By the management of the General Partner of the cycling team, Samruk-Kazyna JSC, as well as the Astana Presidential Professional Club, the task was given of reducing the funding of a professional cycling team from Kazakhstan part, through the entry of a second partner, co-sponsor, who could share the financial burden with our country. The work was carried out successfully, in a quite short time we managed to reach mutual understanding. We are very pleased with the results of the negotiations with the Canadian side. The name of the team for the next year will be changed, but at the same time, the team will continue to exist under the auspices of Kazakhstan, despite the fact that funding from the General Partner of Samruk-Kazyna JSC will be significantly reduced. We will continue to glorify the name of Kazakhstan as well as the name of our new Canadian partner Premier Tech in the global sports arena. Also, within this cooperation, discussions are currently underway to create a children's and youth cycling team "Astana – Premier Tech Team Kids", which will be funded within the existing budget and based in Kazakhstan and Canada. Thus, the two countries will be able to exchange with the experience and to grow a new generation to further maintain cycling at the highest level in both countries," says Yana Seel, Managing Director of Astana Pro Team.
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