Stickybottle

Looks like Team Sky’s new sponsor just accidentally revealed itself

Posted on: March 14th, 2019

This would be very good news for Eddie Dunbar as Team Sky would be continuing with a huge backer that can keep the money coming in for many years..

 

Eagle-eyed cycling fans have spotted domain names and a new Twitter account being registered that appear to confirm reports about the identity of Team Sky’s new sponsor.

While the squad was linked to Colombian oil interests in recent months, a chemicals billionaire from Britain with a keen interest in cycling has been in talks with the WorldTour outfit.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, may stump up the full £35 million annual budget for the squad.

Ratcliffe is chairman and majority shareholder of the Ineos chemicals company and is worth £21 billion.

He backed Brexit but has relocated to Monaco where he has continued to cycling as a leisure rider and where Chris Froome lives.

Stickybottle understands he has been an avid Team Sky fan since its inception and that he has introduced many of his executives to cycling and has them riding Pinarellos.

And now online activity – registering domain names and setting up a Twitter account – is being interpreted as Ineos preparing to launch the new sponsorship deal.

Ineos Holdings has just registered the teamineos.com domain name. It was created just nine days ago, on March 5th.

And while teamineos.co.uk has also just been registered, it does not reveal who owns in. However, it was registered on the same day as the dotcom domain.

A Twitter account – @teamineos – was also commenced, though it has since been deleted.

It is highly likely the team would simply change the name of its existing social media accounts by replacing ‘Sky’ with the name of the new sponsor.

However, creating new accounts using the Team Ineos name would block anyone else registering those account names.

 

Track record with big money sports deals

Ratcliffe (66) offered Roman Abramovich £2 billion last year to buy Chelsea football club.

And two years ago he acquired a controlling stake in Lausanne football club in Switzerland.

Interestingly, last year he invested £110 million in Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos UK; a sailing team that bears his chemical companies name.

And he insisted no other sponsors were permitted because he did not want his backing of the team becoming complicated.

Because Brailsford and the team spent so much time in Colombia last month, meeting the president and other dignitaries, it was speculated that it may be backed by oil interests in that country.

However, one of Team Sky’s directors, Matteo Tosatto, told the Spanish media two weeks ago a new sponsor was about to be unveiled and would be from closer to home; certainly Europe.

And since then other personnel in the team have said they are “certain” a new backer will be found and will be unveiled soon.

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