Today we launch a rebel plan that aims to change the sport of cycling. It has been clear for quite some time that the professional sport of cycling needs to change. The popular sport must be organized differently to continue to live and thrive in the future. Today we are presenting our ideas to the press and cycling fans.
Today, the press and nearly 10,000 contacts in Belgium and the Netherlands received a message outlining our revolutionary ideas:
“The starting point for this new approach is a professional cycling team organized with a club structure. A club with its own identity that is not dependent on one or two sponsoring companies. A club with input and involvement from members. This will create a broader and stronger base and a sustainable organizational structure that can last for years.”
“The current business model of a professional cycling team, financed by sponsors only, is extremely fragile,” said Broekhuizen. “This unstable and uncertain situation is one of the major limitations on the growth of the sport. What we need is a structure that allows the millions of fans and recreational cyclists worldwide to be involved and that also creates a better connection to the sponsors. The new club structure offers the solution to the problem.”
“Rebel is continuously investing in and working on innovative challenges, and we are always looking into new markets,” said Edwin Gulickx, director of Rebel. “Rebel works with customers and partners to realize opportunities – by advising, but also through investing. Drawing on our financial and economic expertise, we provide the foundation that enables the realization of opportunities. Recently we came into contact with the world of cycling via Geert Broekhuizen. He introduced a promising concept to us that challenges the status quo of the sport. We have seen that professional cycling is very undeveloped from a business perspective, which inhibits the growth of the sport. This is something that really intrigues us because, as we say in Rebel terms, there is a reservoir of untapped value.”
Before launching our idea, we held several brainstorming sessions with a group consisting of Geert Broekhuizen, Edwin Gulickx, Bobbie Traksel, Theo Maucher and Kees Kerstens. We met regularly to discuss our revolutionary plans. The idea emerged quickly and was shared with enthusiasm inside and outside the group. However, the details caused a few headaches. Long discussions about the “why,” the “what” and the “how” kept us busy from the beginning. But as the discussions continued, our wild ideas gradually took shape until they were mature enough to share with the world.
A day before the publication of our ideas and press release, the terrible terrorist attacks in Brussels took place. Our big and important story suddenly wasn’t that relevant anymore. After some internal discussions about our press release, we decided to let the media decide about publication.