Sponsor Jumbo says goodbye to motocross: ‘Understandable but a big loss’

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Jumbo’s decision to stop sponsoring motocross does not come as a surprise to sports marketeer Ruud van der Knaap. He thinks it is a wise and understandable decision. It is a big downer for the motorcross world. They will really feel the lost support of Jumbo CEO Frits van Eerd, thinks connoisseur Arno van den Brink of Motocross Planet. “He has provided a springboard for many talents.”

During the presentation of the annual figures on Tuesday, Ton van Veen announced that Jumbo will stop sponsoring motorsport. This is specifically about motocross. However, Jumbo’s temporary director also announced that he will take a critical look at sponsorship in motorsport.

On the cards

Because Jumbo has been under fire in recent months, Van der Knaap saw the decision coming. “It is the only right choice after all the poblems. It is a great pity for motocross, but it does make Jumbo more credible in terms of sponsorship in other sports.”

The money laundering investigation in which CEO Frits van Eerd is a suspect focuses on the motocross world. Although Jumbo is often mentioned, the company itself is not suspected according to the judiciary. An external study commissioned by the supermarket chain confirms this.

It is unclear exactly how much money Jumbo put into motocross, but the sports marketer thinks it is probably a few hundred thousand euros. “That means a big loss for motorsport. It is a fairly small sport in the Netherlands and not constantly in the picture. That makes finding new sponsors more difficult.”

Journalist Arno van den Brink of Motocross Planet agrees. “The sponsors are scarce, especially in these economically difficult times.” According to him, three cross teams are seriously affected by Jumbo’s departure. These are Riley Yamaha Racing from Limburg, Hutten Metaal Racing from Overijssel and the Jumbo Husqvarna BT Racing team from Best.

He doesn’t think motocross teams will collapse because Jumbo pulls out. “But they do have a noticeable hole in the budget. The competition and training programme may have to be adjusted. They are professional teams and not hobby teams. They need a lot of money to run a season at the highest level”.

Wider implications

Etienne Bax from Bergeijk knows this all too well. The multiple World Sidecar Cross Champion was also sponsored by Jumbo. “We are already looking for another sponsor, but it is not easy. As a company you really have to be committed to motocross. Frits was. I am eternally grateful to him for his support”.

At the Royal Dutch Motorcyclists Association (KNMV), Bas Vis does not expect motocross to be affected in its entirety. “We have a broad top in the Netherlands, a considerable influx of top talents that will move on up anyway, and the association also has its own talent programme”.

MX2 riders Kay de Wolf from Eersel and Roan van de Moosdijk from Eindhoven also raced with Jumbo sponsorship. “But they ride for big factory teams, so the impact won’t be big for these top talents”, thinks Vis. According to journalist Van den Brink, there are challenges for the longer term. “Van Eerd ensured continuity and offered a lot of talent a springboard. That allowed them to take steps and reach the top”.

 

Source: Omroep Brabant

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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